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Salsa vs Bachata

Be the next dancing queen of tomorrow!  But should you choose Bachata or Salsa?

You say salsa and I say bachata – but which should you choose?  This may sound like a simple question but there is a lot more to understand about each of the dances.  Both are popular and Latin based but each one is quite different.

How about we check out each of the dance steps and help you to make a decision?

Salsa dance steps

Salsa is a mix of many different steps and rhythms from Cuba, Spain, Puerto Rico and Africa.  It became huge in New York in the mid-1970s. There are various styles around; New York, Cuban and Colombian.  It’s called ‘salsa’ because the word means ‘sauce’ in Spanish and many feel it is a ‘saucy’ dance that is a mix of many things.

With regard to salsa dance steps, salsa is a much faster dance than bachata.  The steps for each are very different. Salsa consists of three steps, 2 fast and 1 slow, varying according to whether you are dancing New York or Cuban style.

Bachata dance steps

Bachata comes from the Dominican Republic with its origins in bolero, a Spanish dance from the late 18th century.  It didn’t become really big until the 1990s.

Bachata dance steps are slower than salsa and more romantic.  There are no turns and instead the bodies of the dancers are kept close during each of the moves.  It comprises basically 3 steps and then a tap, with plenty of hip motion and slight lift of the leg during the ‘tapping’ step. Knees have to be bent to allow the hips to sway.  Usually danced up close with a partner, it can also be done with an open embrace.

Who can dance salsa or bachata?

The answer to that is anyone.  Even if you don’t consider yourself a natural dancer, taking part in salsa or bachata is not only a wonderful social activity but also keeps you fit and flexible.   Some people struggle with bachata, finding salsa easier. For this reason, a lot of people begin by learning salsa and then progress to bachata, but it’s OK to dive straight into bachata if you feel the urge! 

The best way to tackle either dance is to see it as a fun thing.  Get lots of practice and don’t rush it. Once you begin to relax into the music and let your body go, then the magic of Latin dance begins.

So what is your next step?

So now you are able to answer your own question:  “Which should it be?” that is, bachata vs salsa.

If you feel the urge to get moving with some fantastic Latin dancing, then there is no better time than now to get down to your local dance studio.  

At Salsa Tropical we offer both salsa and bachata lessons so check out our timetable now and get signed up!  Whichever you choose, every lesson is going to be enjoyable and exciting.