Bachata originated in the Dominican Republic in the 1960s and it has become a very popular dance style in recent years. One of the big draws of bachata is the versatility of the different styles that have emerged from its original form, with the most popular being sensual bachata.
Sensual bachata, as its name suggests, is a sexy and fun form of bachata, but what you might not realize is that it takes a lot of inspiration from another dance style altogether: Brazilian zouk. Check out today’s video for an innovative demonstration of what sensual bachata is all about, featuring two follows and a single lead.
What is Brazilian Zouk?
Brazilian zouk is a more recent dance style than the original Dominican bachata, originating in Brazil in the 1990s. It is a variation of lambada but danced to Caribbean Zouk music (and it should not be confused with Caribbean zouk dancing). Brazilian zouk is characterized by its sensuality and fluidity and it pairs very nicely with bachata to create a style that brings out the best in both dance styles.
How is sensual bachata influenced by Brazilian zouk?
If you are familiar with both bachata and Brazilian zouk, you might be able to spot the zouk elements in sensual bachata. There has been some recent controversy arguing that sensual bachata shouldn’t be called bachata at all because it has strayed too far from the origins of the dance, including the basic steps and counts. With that being said, sensual bachata definitely isn’t Brazilian zouk alone, and there is still a core of bachata in the center.
On the other side of the argument, some people argue that there should be more of an acknowledgment to Brazilian zouk when it comes to sensual bachata, but the counter to this is that zouk isn’t the only dance style that sensual bachata is fused with. including other Latin dance styles, ballroom, and even contemporary dance.
One of the most common Brazilian zouk moves you will see in sensual bachata is the dip. This is where the lead holds the follow by the waist while they arch the top of their back. You will also see Brazilian zouk-style head movements.
Should I learn bachata and Brazilian zouk?
If you are planning on dancing sensual bachata regularly, it can be a very good idea to take some Brazilian zouk classes as well. Not only will the lessons help you to execute the zouk moves correctly, but it can also give you some ideas for different moves that you can incorporate into your sensual bachata dancing.