In life, we face many choices – some easy, some challenging. Deciding where to dance is a simple one. Join us and experience the guidance of exceptional instructors who are passionate about their craft and eager to meet you in their classes. However, the decision between Salsa and Bachata can be tough for many. To help you decide, we’ve created a page outlining the differences between these musical rhythms and dance styles.


The history of salsa is quite extensive, originating in Cuba and evolving through influences from the Latin community in the US and the Caribbean region of South America. Salsa dancing has various styles, each with its unique flavor and appearance. The three most popular styles are Salsa on 1, Mambo on 2, and Cuban Salsa. At our classes, we primarily teach Salsa on 1 but also offer a few sessions for the other two styles.


According to the story, Bachata music originated in the impoverished neighborhoods of Santo Domingo and gradually gained popularity over time, eventually becoming the Dominican Republic’s primary export. Recently, a new wave of artists has revitalized Bachata, resulting in two distinct styles: Traditional and Sensual. Bachata dancing has also evolved with these changes, with a noticeable contrast between the two styles. At Extremos, we appreciate both styles, but we primarily emphasize Sensual Bachata since it is currently the most popular style on the dance floor.

What’s the difference?

Salsa and Bachata are two distinct types of dances. Salsa is a lively and energetic dance form where partners maintain a reasonable distance while dancing. In contrast, Bachata is a slower dance form where partners dance closer together. Additionally, Salsa dancers often allow space for the follower to incorporate fancy footwork, whereas this is less common in Sensual Bachata. In sensual bachata, body movement is heavily emphasized.

Which is easier?

It is commonly believed that Bachata is slightly easier to learn compared to Salsa. However, this may not be the case for everyone, as individual learning styles vary.

Can it be Combined?

Absolutely! Despite their differences, there may be more similarities between these two dances than initially perceived. Both have the same musical structure, as they are rooted in Afro-Caribbean backgrounds.

Pep and Marina, our instructors, dancing Bachata.

Damian dancing Salsa at the Odessa Latin Fest.

Verified by MonsterInsights