Bachata is a style of dance that originated in the Dominican Republic.
Before the development of a Dominican redording industry and the spread of the mass media, guitar-based trios and quartets were almost indispensable for a variety of informal recreational events such as Sunday afternoon parties known as pasadías and spontaneous gatherings that took place in back yards, living rooms, or in the street that were known as bachatas.
Dictionaries of Latin American Spanish define the term bachata as juerga, jolgorio, or parranda, all of which denote fun, merriment, a good time, or a spree, but in the Dominican Republic, in addition to the emotional quality of fun and enjoyment suggested by the dictionary definition, it referred specifically to get-togethers that included music, drink, and food.
Unlike Salsa, Bachata dance does not usually include complex turn patterns but they are used more and more as the dance evolves.
The leading is done just like in most other social dances, with a “pushing and pulling” hand and arm communication.
This text was taken from the book "Bachata, A social history of a Dominican popular music", published by Temple University Press in 1995, written by Deborah Pacini Hernandez.