How to Lead Properly in Bachata Dance

Learn how to lead properly in bachata dance from Latin Dance company Joel Salsa in this Howcast dance video.


Edwin: Leading for men in bachata. Gentlemen, when we're leading the ladies in bachata, first off if you're dancing in open position, make sure that your arms are nice and relaxed, your palms are facing up and you're not gripping the ladies with your thumb. Very important, her hands are resting on your hands, and when you're doing the basic you keep this lead throughout, until you're ready to move to a different move or go to a different side.

So we're going to start with the basic. One, two, three tap. Five, six, seven tap. Notice I'm not putting my thumbs into place, unless there's something that I need to tell her. Here I'm going to slide into closed position and my hand position changes. From here when you switch your hand position, make sure you have a little grip on the ladies. So that you can use this grip to lead her, either forward or back, by taking your whole posture to the front. Nice and firm and hold it in the middle. One, two, three tap. Five, six and seven.

Gentlemen, make sure that when you're leading your ladies left and right, you're actually using the upper body, your torso to push to the left, bring it in, push left and tap. And don't forget gentlemen, you can move your hip as well and the opposite of going the other way. So now you bring your hands inside. In, out, in tap. Out, in, out tap. In, out, in tap.

So let me show you this gentlemen, your rib cage is going left and right as you're leading, and this also allow the ladies, since they're connected to us kind of like imaginary cables through our shoulders here, the ladies are going to be connected, so if we move our torso to the left, here torso goes to her right, and we end up going in the same direction.

Gentlemen, make sure that when you switch the hand position your body language switches as well. For example, here we're nice and tight, our posture is straight, we're supporting the ladies, but then when we get to open position, you're more relaxed. You feel more relaxed, more confident. You can use your arms a little bit more, your shoulders.

And when you're leading the turns gentlemen, make sure that you're leading properly, giving the ladies the cues, no matter which way you're going. Now I'm going to demonstrate some of these tips with the music. Let's start in closed position. So Gentlemen, notice our torso and now a different lead, forward and back. The torso is actually still doing the work, but you're just going linear, rather than to a side and now the hold in the middle.

So here gentlemen, you want to be nice and relaxed. More shoulders, a little bit of hip. And when you're getting ready to lead the ladies, don't forget to give her the cue by bringing the arm up, and she's ready to turn, and at the end of the turn gentlemen, it's always a good leading tip to gather the ladies arm, all right? We can go into closed position and repeat the whole thing again and that is leading tips for men in bachata.

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