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Originally from the Dominican Republic, the dance and the music both take their name from the early 20th century Dominican expression Bachatear which means to get together to party and to dance.

The music is a mix of bolero, merengue and blues, spiced with piccicato guitars and driven by guiros in the rhythm section. The dance displays obvious merengue and bolero ancestry. It is extremely easy to learn and can serve as a platform from which to learn salsa too.

Juan Manuel Calderon and Luis Segura were the first in a constellation of bachata music stars but their fame was mostly confined to the Dominican domestic market. Juan Luis GuerraJuan Luis GuerraJuan Luis Guerra with his orchestra “440”, got the world to sit up and pay attention when he won a Grammy in 1992 for the album Bachata Rosa.

But it was finally Los Tinellers, a group of cousins of Dominican extraction living in New York that got the planet to dance bachata in 2002 when they changed their name to Grupo Aventura and released the mega-hit Obsesión. Their lead singer, Anthony “Romeo” Santos eventually launched a solo career and went on to become a global superstar.

Ever since, the love affair between dancers and Bachata has grown stronger. The sensual dance, the contagious melodies, the romantic lyrics, the ease with which the dance can absorb elements from other disciplines; it all means that bachata, just like salsa, it will never go out of style.