Today, let's delve into the world of bachata and explore the art of moving your hips naturally and embracing the concept of natural bounce while dancing. Bachata dancers often find themselves instinctively pushing the hip on the 2nd beat when breaking on3 timing. However, it is important to remember that this natural flow is not deliberately done but rather dictated by the body, responding to the rhythm of the music.
To begin with, it is essential to understand that around 80% of hip movements in bachata are a result of perfecting basic steps and fundamentals. This includes slight knee bends, staying in tune with the beat of the music, and maintaining a relaxed posture. The hip movements are not generated solely by the hips or waist; instead, they are driven by weight distribution and dynamic knee bends. In essence, the source of hip movements lies in the lower body, primarily the legs and knees. Executing smaller or compact movements further encourages and enhances the hip action.
Certain steps like stationary movements, side steps, and even back steps that are almost stationary provide an excellent platform for showcasing hip movements. On the other hand, traveling steps such as side-to-side or forward-backward movements tend to restrict the ability to push the hips on either the 4th or 2nd beat. These movements can be challenging for some dancers to execute fluidly and effectively. Understanding the importance of these movements, they have been included in The Rodchata Training Group Program for Bachata Dancers as a dedicated syllabus. It is crucial to have a teacher guide and monitor these movements to ensure proper execution.
The "natural bounce" experienced in bachata dancing is a direct result of truly "feeling the music." Just as when you listen to your favorite song with your earphones or headphones and unconsciously find yourself bouncing your head or tapping your foot in rhythm, the same effect is seen in bachata. However, it's important to note that when dancing on3, breaking on3, the feeling of the music takes on a different meaning altogether. Exploring this aspect would require its own dedicated article.
In conclusion, as bachata dancers, embracing the natural movement of your hips and surrendering to the flow of the music brings an added touch of authenticity to your performance. Remember, it's not about forcing the movement but rather allowing your body to respond naturally to the rhythm. Perfecting the fundamental steps, exploring compact movements, and being aware of weight distribution and knee bents are key elements to successfully.
P.S. I'm sharing this video where I was recently dancing with Melanie Mueller at the San Francisco Intl Bachata Festival. I'm posting this so you'd notice the subtleties; bouncing & hip movements. The music is slow by Joe Veras. As much as I was tempted to do fncy footwork and movements, the flow of the music wasn't calling for it. So I just relaxed, "felt the music" and enjoy dancing with my partner.