Bachata Sensual Level 1 (1-6) Introductory

Lesson 1-1: Basic Steps, Hips & Holds

  • The Count
  • Individual work
      • The Basic Step
      • Sequence Without Partner:
  • Partner Work
    • Open Hold
    • Closed Hold
    • Very Closed Hold
    • Sequence with Partner:
  • The Hips
  • Pro Tips
  • Videos

The Count

1, 2, 3, Tap, 5, 6, 7, Tap

  1. Open step
  2. Close
  3. Open
  4. Tap
  5. Open step
  6. Close
  7. Open
  8. Tap

Individual work

The Basic Step

  • Weight changes with every step but not the taps.
  • The foot that taps is the foot that takes the next step and this ensures the weight is off the foot and is ready to step. Not a rule, but we try to close the tap.
  • Leaders step to the left on the count of 1.
  • Followers step to the right on the count of 1.

Sequence Without Partner

  1. Side basic
  2. On the spot basic
  3. Forward and backwards
  4. Backwards and forwards

Partner Work

Open Hold

  • The arms move at the waist height and we make a smooth and natural movement.
  • Keep the hands outside of the body to create tension with our partner. ie. to change direction of isolate movements.
  • Do not hold her fingers, grip tightly or squeeze.

Closed Hold

  • Same as open hold but closer together.
  • Keep the arms lifted away from your sides of your body, ie. Do not let the arms rest on the sides or drop the hands down.
  • Leaders right hand will always be in the middle of her back. Not too high, not too low.
  • Leaders take her right hand with your left. Important: Do not hold her fingers, grip tightly or squeeze.
  • Find a comfortable position, palm to palm and close the fingers softly
  • For a good foundation, maintain this neutral position in the basic steps. Do not move the arms as you dance the basic steps.
  • Try to keep the movements natural.
  • Stagger the feet so you don’t tread on each others toes.
  • Make slight contact with the side of each other’s upper body and try to maintain the connection.
  • We are never completely facing our partner in a close hold, turn slightly to the side.
  • Shoulders form a “V”.
  • Maintain connection elbow to elbow.

Very Closed Hold

As with the closed hold, except:

  • Followers place right hand on leaders chest, and use this for control and to create a frame.
  • Leaders can place left hand on the followers right shoulder.

Sequence with Partner

  1. Side basic
  2. On the spot basic
  3. On the spot basic & Switch to open hold
  4. Forward and backwards
  5. Backwards and forwards

The Hips

There are two styles of hip movement for both the leaders and follows:

  1. We can be in favour of the hip on the count of 1.
  2. Or we can be against the hip on the count of 1. Ie. we leave the hip behind as we step.

Note: The hip never goes before the weight,

Pro Tips

  1. The tap is not a weight transfer, it’s like a bounce to go back to the basic.
  2. Tap with the tip of the foot.
  3. There is no weight on the tap.
  4. Tap clearly when doing it to close the step.
  5. More control of the follower in a closed position.
  6. Try to keep the heels, hips and shoulders in line, ie. do not twist.
  7. Followers without a hold, try to mirror the leader with shoulders, hips and feet.


The Next Step

Practice and repeat these steps in your own time. Only mark “Complete” below if you have completed this lesson with an instructor and are confident to perform the moves in social dancing.

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