#6 our BP vision & founding principles
I do not think I will ever be able to make a choice between the different Bachata styles and pick a favourite. For me Bachata is the perfect combination between sensual body movements, turn patterns, musicality & footwork. The music decides, the music guides, and the music is leading. For me, the most important thing is the connection with a dance partner and then both connecting with the music.
Why start our own Academy
This is where our passion for starting our own Bachata Academy came from. Because to create dancers that can connect with their partners & the music, the way of teaching had to change. When we started, we realized that most dance schools were just teaching their students figures & combinations. Technique was not the focus, it was about having fun and learning new things every week. Unfortunately, the dance school owners at that time were convinced that is what people wanted. But we were convinced that even though students said they dance just for fun; dancing Bachata will be even more fun if you master the technique.
Our mission with Bachata Passion is to really teach people how to dance Bachata with everyone. Therefor when we started developing the ideas for our Academy, we discussed what that means and what we would need to do to achieve that. So together we decided on 3 things that we found important and would become the focus of our Bachata Passion Academy.
Teaching with Elements.
Instead of teaching only combinations and figures we decided to build our Academy around a solid syllabus that has all the separate Elements listed per level. From footwork, to turns, to Sensual techniques. And in the classes, we focus on teaching all the separate elements to our students. With these elements you can create an endless variation of combinations. Why do we do this? Because we believe that if we teach them Elements, they will become better dancers. Because the leaders will learn how to be creative with their own figures still using all elements and correct techniques. And the followers will learn how to follow unconditionally instead of already expecting the full combination.
Of course, we also offer figures & combinations in the classes. But we want our students to realize they are just an example of how you can create figures. That is why in our classes the focus on technique and transitions of elements is always there!
Offer unlimited classes.
Many people ask us why we work with memberships. This is because we believe that our students will only get better by practicing a lot. So, if we would ask you extra money for every extra class you want to attend, I am not encouraging you to come more often. Therefor we said we go for a fixed price comparable to the price of 1 class per week, but then include unlimited classes. Because we know that if you come more often, you get better faster. The more you understand the dance, the more fun it will become and the more you want to keep dancing & improving. This way our students also do not have to choose one class or one style, we encourage them to follow classes in Sensual, Dominican and Moderna to become all-round Bachata dancers.
No assistants, but 2 teachers.
This was my main point from the start. For me, the hardest thing to learn was following. But still in the classes there was usually the leader teaching and the follower assisting. Common sentences in the classes would be “Ladies, we just follow”. And I remember thinking: just follow? How? Because how can I learn how to follow if I know what is coming. Nobody ever could explain what it meant to follow lightly. How I could learn to be confident in following unconditionally.
Luckily, I found this in all the classes and privates we took abroad. Convincing me even more that women in the Netherlands needed this too! So, from the start of Bachata Passion we said we will always have 2 teachers. One leader & one follower. And we teach together, 50 / 50. Because just as it important as it is for the students to learn how to lead properly, the followers need to really be taught how to follow!
Doing what we believe is best
Now I know there are many schools that do this differently, and I respect that. These just have been the 3 founding principles of Bachata Passion since the start. And we have stayed consistent. This is how we believe we can bring the most value to our students. The best way to teach them how to dance with everyone in all styles. Really leading & following, guided by the music and with a solid technique. Therefore, we always say if you really want to learn how to dance Bachata this is the place for you. If you just want to play around, you are better off at a different school. Luckily, for us and the Dutch Bachata scene, the amount of people motivated to learn and improve is growing and growing. Together we will make this an awesome dance scene full of great dances, fun & positivity!
Now of course I am curious again: How do you experience this? What do you find important in your Bachata classes & dancing? Let me know in the comments, curious to read your thoughts!