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  • Ardisa 6:39 pm on October 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , dance, , , , merengue, , , travel, vacation   

    Wow! Dominican Republic Bachata Festival? 

    (I just saw this press release on my feed. How cool is this! It’s an event organized by Rodchata and Vesa)

    Vesa Parkkari and Rodney Rodchata Aquino, two of well-known bachata promoters in the world joined together to host the ultimate bachata festival in the Dominican Republic, 1st Dominican Republic (International) Bachata Festival.

    It’s unbelievable that a music that was once unpopular in the Dominican Republic is now popular in the United States of America and the world.

    With the likes of Aventura, Monchy and Alexandra, Teodoro Reyes, and Joe Veras, the music of bachata is now the most requested in Latin radio.

    Read more here

  • Ardisa 6:27 pm on May 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , dance, websites   

    My Top 3 Bachata Websites… 

    I love a website that has plenty of information including history, videos and fun-to-read articles.

    When it comes to great bachata websites, here are my top three…

    1. iASO Recordshttp://www.iasorecords.com/

    Owned by Benjamin De Menil of New York, a Harvard MBA graduate, iASO is very dedicated to the Dominican roots of music, this website not only features traditional music and recordings of bachata, but also features great historical articles and interviews of the legends in the industry. iASO specializes in Latin & World music. All their music is recorded the original way: LIVE, which makes it fresh and soulful.

    2. Bachateros Online Magazinehttp://www.bachateros.com.au

    Owned and operated by Juan I. Ruiz of Sydney, Australia (recently featured on my 1st article), this website is awesome with lots of information and it is the home of Bachata Moderna. You can find urban bachata music as well as traditional with lots of interviews. He also post dance performance videos! One great thing I like as well is that you can upload music on the site!

    3. Bachata Sensationhttp://www.bachatasensation.com

    Owned and operated by two lovely ladies of bachata, Aja Estro and Aubrey Griffith-Zill of Florida. Yes, More power to the bachateras!

    “BachataSensation is the soul destination for Bachata lovers worldwide. Whether you are a beginner or advanced Bachata dancer, Bachata Sensation has everything you need to enhance your dancing experience. From the hottest Bachata music and videos, to amazing competitions, congresses, workshops and events, BachataSensation.com has what all Bachateros want.”

    There you have it!  I am working on my favorite bachata teachers! Stay tuned…

    • Eros Frometa 2:19 am on October 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Well, I visited BachataSensation today and I watch those people dance really nice. Que viva la Bachata

  • Ardisa 5:10 pm on May 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 5, , bachatero, bachateros, best, , dance, dancer, dancers, , , five, founding fathers, godfathers, gregory and nanda, juan ruiz, , leaders, powerful, promoter, , rodney aquino, top, vesa parkkari   

    My Top 5 Influential People in Bachata 

    So why would I chose to write a piece all about bachata?

    First of all this is coming from a true bachatera. I live and breath bachata and fell in love with this dance the first time I saw it. Since that first encounter I have really immersed myself with the dance, including the history and roots of the true traditional bachata. Bachata is a feeling and a way of life. It is a true expression of one’s self to the world. With that said and with bachata blowing up all over the world, I decided that it is about time to recognize some people that made great contributions. No one seems to really give enough credit to the ones that really loved bachata first and contributed to the dance popularity. Some of the pioneers so to speak of the bachata world. Therefore, with all of my research and with many discussions with other bachateros I have come up with my top 5 influential people in the bachata dance world. Here they are:

    1) Rodney “Rodchata” Aquino (promoter/ teacher) – Rodchata is Bachata!! Is there even a place in the world that doesn’t recognize Rodchata as the great contributor of bachata dance in the USA? I don’t think so!

    He is by far the most influential bachata promoter out there with more than 6 world wide bachata festivals (SF, Reno, Hawaii, Lithuania, and so on…) and his world tours no one can argue that he is the man! I have personally been to some of his festivals and they are filled with all the best instructors as well as the best bachateros in the world!

    2) Juan Ruiz (promoter/ teacher) – Juan would definitely come 2nd since he is the first person to actually start a bachata festival in the world along with Nestor Manuelian. He is also the person that helped popularized bachata moderna which has become one of the most recognized forms of bachata out there. He has traveled the world promoting and teaching bachata. Juan is also responsible for bring bachata to Australia as well as New Zealand where now both countries have some of the largest bachata communities in the world.

    3) Vesa Parkkari “Bachata Ambassador” (promoter)- Vesa is the main promoter for bachata in Finland with two bachata festivals a year, one in the city of Tampere and one in Helsinki. He first started promoting bachata in the 90’s and was the first to put on a major bachata concert featuring Yoskar Sarante, a bachata legend. Vesa has traveled to the Dominican Republic many times and has been able to bring the true Dominican flavor back to Finland.

    4) Gregory and Nanda (promoters/ teachers)- They are the organizers of the Bachatando Festival in Belgium and have traveled the world promoting and teaching bachata. They have also teamed up with Rodchata and Camille Yannantuono (creator of bachatango) to bring the world the Bachata X Crossovers that teach several different styles of bachata including Dominican, Bachatango, and Moderna to name a few.

    5) Tony Lara and Dani De Francesco (promoters/ teachers)- Tony and Dani are some of the first people to teach and spread bachata throughout the UK. Although they don’t have a bachata festival yet they are the organizers of the Sexy and Sensual Latin Festival that includes bachata as one of the main dances at the festival and co-organizes bachata festivals in several cities in Europe. Tony and Dani travel all over the world teaching and promoting bachata and I was able to take and see these wonderful instructors in action. They are also some of the people that promote bachata tango.

    Please keep in mind that these are just my top 5 for most influential people, meaning, my favorites, and I am aware of many others that have dedicated much of their energy and life to the growth of bachata. This list is just my “godfather” list of the first and true bachateros to spread and promote bachata world wide. With bachata growing and expanding all over the world I am sure we will see many more promoters and festivals popping up but for now these are the firsts, my number ones, the TOP FIVE!

    • Juan Ruiz 7:44 am on May 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Hey! Juan Ruiz here!

      There are many people that have influenced bachata to what it is today, thank you for putting in me on your top 5. One thing we all have in common, it is the passion for Bachata and vision to make it grow to be as popular as Salsa or even bigger.

      Keep dancing, and hopefully we’ll have a bachata dance!

    • Tony Lara 1:02 pm on May 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      This article is completely incorrect has far as information is concerned. Here are some real fact

      1. Be careful who you call the Godfather of Bachata in the US, I dont think you are doing justice to others who were promoting bachata around the US.

      2. The 1st promoted Bachata Festival in the World was Sweden, Oz did it a month before but was not the 1st to be officially promoted.

      3. Bachata Moderna and Bachatango was invented in Spain and Italy.

      4. If you are going to talk about Tony & Dani get the facts correct or don’t include us as this is a poor example of the work we have done for Bachata.

      It is important that people who are producing articles like this really find out what they are writing about, because it is articles like this that are creating alot of bad talk in the Bachata industry today.

      • Carlos 12:14 am on July 31, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        you can’t dance tony, so can’t Juan Ruiz, Rodney Aquino and all of you so call bachateros, you all just fakes.

        • Tony Lara 10:22 am on August 9, 2010 Permalink

          lol… Carlos my man!

          I know but you know it is also hard work being a fake dancer! I just wished I had you as my instructor to teach me the right way to dance, so until I can take one of your classes I will have to fake it.

          as they say sometimes you need to fake it to make it!

    • Veronica Jiminez 7:22 pm on May 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      This is a good list. Great job! Some people just don’t appreciate when their fans write about them.

      • Tony Lara 10:04 pm on May 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        I would rather a real complete picture of who has really contributed to the growth of the scene not 1 person opnion who has not even taken time to find out the facts!

    • Tony Lara 10:03 pm on May 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Nah! would rather things were correct rather than random facts with alot of missing blanks plus before giving recognition to people, one must also recognised the work done by many way before Bachata became so popular, so let me enlighten you all abit more…

      in the US
      1. Hips on fire were the first do make a Bachata Rueda DVD
      2. Jorge Elizondo, Austin, who also was a partner at the first to do a Bachata Festival in US in Reno & SF was the first to do Bachata Bootcamp around the US and was the first US teacher to tour Europe
      3. Ataca Jorge & Tanja, Tampa, have become extremely popular in around the world
      4. Lee El Gringuito, DC very big promoter in Washington and DC Bachata Festival.
      5. Jorge and Lesley, LA also very popular instructors and LA Bachata Festival promoters
      6. Bb Reno, who also was a partner at the first to do a Bachata Festival in US Reno

      1. Peter & Christine, Sweden (First Bachata festival in the world)
      2. Gosia Fangrat, Poland, Bachata Festival in Poland
      3. Inaki Fernandez, Spain, was the first to teach Bachata moderna around the world
      4. Frank Santos, Estonia another popular instructor way before many
      5. Gabyel y Bergona, Spain again another popular instructor and promoter of Spain Bachata Festival

      1. Nestor Manuelian was the first person to promote Bachata internationally from Australia
      2. Jaime Jesus who made Bachata even more popular by introducing it to the Sydney Salsa Congress

      Then apart from the instructors and promoters there are the musicians like: Aventura, Juan Luis Guerra, Toke de Keda, Monchy & Alexandra who made enormous leaps for Bachata internationally

      I will add more as I remember but credit should be given to alot of people and Godfather is not a title that can be given easily without first knowing the truth of the scene and who really contributed to it!

    • bachatababe 2:01 am on May 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I agree with all of you! This is my own top 5, I’m sure you have yours. Post them here as well.

    • Juan Ruiz 3:41 am on May 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Tony, there is a lot of history in Bachata, and it will be very difficult to document it. Nobody is doing it, so you will find little bits and pieces of history from everywhere. As Bachatababe has expressed: “Please keep in mind that these are just my top 5 for most influential people and I am aware of many others that have dedicated much of their energy and life to the growth of bachata.”

      For her, these are her top 5 most influential people in the Bachata Industry at the moment. I’m sure for others, they will have other people they admire and look-up to. You will have to respect that.

      One thing that I want to clarify is that the Sydney Bachata Festival was an idea created together by Juan Ruiz and Nestor Manuelian.

      Also, I do know that the origins of Bachata Moderna started in Spain and Italy (I always give credit to Inaki), but it wasn’t promoted as such, as there was no proper structure, neither fundamentals of this new style. Now Bachata Moderna is a recognized style with proper techniques and fundamentals. You can check this article for more info http://www.bachateros.com.au/2009/03/more-than-just-bachata/

      BachataBabe, I encourage you to keep writing your articles and express your opinion (as not many people do it). This is your first article, and I’m looking forward to see more from you!

      • Augusto Serna 1:15 am on May 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        I agree with Juan, keep writing! There are two types of bachatero in the world, the nice ones and the ________.

        • Carlos 5:11 pm on July 31, 2010 Permalink

          Augusto Will you be so kind to name some of the bachateros that are not as nice as you said, Are you afraid to mention them by name? well i give you some names that I think really suck and then you tell me which you think are not nice ok.
          Rodney Aquino
          Juan Ruiz
          Lee el gringuito
          Frank santos
          tony lara
          Jorge Elizondo
          There are many others but i kind of name just the most popular, now give me your list.

    • Tony Lara 9:11 am on May 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      This is why I think it is important that when someone writes a comment or article of Bachata that has alot of missing information, someone who knows should correct as much of it as possible rather than just excepting it and allowing a miss interpretation or representation to happen!

      As you have correctly mentioned the Sydney Bachata Festival also involved Nestor who should also take credit for his contributions to Bachata in Oz and internationally.

      Bachata Moderna did have fundamentals but was not called Bachata Moderna was only called Bachata, it is only in the last few years did we start the separation of Bachata and started giving it different names.

      Bachata is not only evolving as a dance but as a business and their were people who made the business grow that are being forgotten, never forget the forgetten heros who gave the spark to ignite the fire, it is too easy for those who now act like they are Bachata passionate to try and take the limelight, there are many non believers now who are only doing this thru chance not thru vision…

      I thank the ones who believed in its growth and it was the Big Salsa Congress Promoters who gave it a chance to spread for that I thank:

      Paul Young – UK
      Jaime Jesus – Sydney
      Albert Torres – LA
      Stefan – Zurich
      Robert White – London
      Stefan – Bugaria
      Diego – Salsorro
      Joseph – Hong Kong
      Ivan Poschi – Amsterdam
      Morry – Den Haag
      Christophe – Cyprus
      All the Australian, European and US promoters who supported Bachata Bootcamp, there are others but these are the ones that came to light

      It was Salsa Congresses that gave Bachata its exposure and it was the promoters who took the chance and allowed it to be promoted, without these guys Bachata was only danced in small local clubs, but some promoters saw vision and took the initiative and so if you like to know who the GODFATHERS you need to look in the pass not in the presence =)

    • Kris 4:20 am on May 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      If we are writing about most influential people in this dance, it’s a no-brainer. We must be talking about people that not only are popular but effective teachers (one way to influence) and are consistently making a difference. My top five then would be…

      1. Troy and Jorjet
      2. Rodchata
      3. Ataca and Alemana
      4. Juan Ruiz
      5. Jorge and Leslie

      Rodchata and Juan, IMO, are tops because they had a vision to start bachata festivals, pursued it and took a risk, not knowing the outcome.

      • Tony Lara 2:14 am on May 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Firstly you are talking about the US only and ignoring the fact that Bachata has been popular in Europe way longer than the US

        secondly just to clarify again

        Sydney Bachata Festival was a vision between 3 partners Nestor, Juan and Sky. If I am not wrong it was actually Nestors idea, but I might be wrong but I am sure I am not.

        1st Reno Bachata Festival had 3 partners, Rodney, Jorge Elizondo and Bb again why are the 2nd two not getting credit for the risks they took

        1st SF Bachata Festival again 2 partners Rodney and Jorge Elizondo once again no credit to Jorge Elizondo

        Also in Europe not only did we have Sweden and Belgium but festivals in Poland, Finland, Lithuania, Spain, Italy (which actually is the first official Bachata Festival in 2006) and UK

        Just to once again put the record straight for you Kris Mambo ; )

    • Peter Dottax 1:54 pm on May 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      This is a very funny discussion to start with.

      “recognize the people that started it all”, and “godfather”??

      There have been numerous people trying to “start it” in their local regions. Some succeeded better than others.. But I suppose they all played a part in the overall spread of the dance. Right?

      Why is there a need to clap your hands at all? And if needed to do that, it shouldn’t be done to market anyone – which this is.
      It’s nice and all that – that the Bachata scene is growing. Believe me! I for one is happy about that. Me and my wife have been pushing hard since -2006, but that’s really no time at all. Still it is much longer than most Bachata promoters out there right now.

      Who am I, or WE for that matter?
      My name is Peter and my wife is Christine. We (together) are the non-profitable company Bachata Sweden.

      In 2006 I fell for Bachata, and I started to look around for teachers. I had to look outside Sweden (which is my domain), and found only two names;
      Tony Lara and Jorge Elizondo. I didn’t know anything about anyone – but I got in contact with Jorge Elizondo and brought him to Sweden because I wanted to learn this dance – and I wanted to get this girl (which now is my wife) Christine to fall for me.. I set up this event to be able to dance with HER, and to learn the dance that belonged to this fantastic music I heard several times before.

      The reason for chosing Jorge Elizondo, and not Tony Lara – was only that the “style” so to speak was called “Bachata Italian Style” – which made me think it was a local Bachata style. I wanted the global – true style. Well.. After a few years I now know better! :o)

      By the way.. The trip that I set up for Jorge Elizondo was the actual start for his (first ever) European tour.

      Anyhow.. In 2007 we went to the Dominican Republic and spent 30 days just looking for Bachata. It’s actually harder than one might think. The music is found everywhere, and you can easily find Bachata at All-Inclusive’s.. But.. That’s not Dominican Bachata! And THAT was the reason for our trip. Later we came home, and in late 2007 I was contacted by Tony Lara. Together we talked about bringing him to Sweden, and I thought that a small festival-thing would be a good solution to make Bachata grow in our country.

      What we decided, was to bring both Jorge Elizondo, and Tony Lara to the festival – but later Jorge Elizondo made a decision which lead to that he couldn’t participate in our festival. This festival was announced the same week as Juan Ruiz announced the Sydney Bachata Festival 2008. And funny enough – the discussion that kicked Australia in this direction was the conversation at a bar between Juan Ruiz – and……… Tony Lara! A pattern here I see! ;o)

      During this time, Rodney (who wasn’t known in Europe by this time) was invited to the Sydney Bachata Festival. And – when Jorge Elizondo gave his place up – we needed a replacement – QUICKLY! We looked at our brothers in Australia – and saw this name Rodney who called himself “Rodchata”.. So – we contacted him. We thought that this was a good solution. We still couldn’t find much information about him.. No videos what so ever, no text, no nothing..

      But Rodney came – and this was his first step in the European market as well..

      Since then; Jorge travelled many countries in Europe, and Rodney have been to a few as well.
      Actually.. Vesa – the organizer of the Finnish Bachata Festival came to our festival.. Thought it was a great thing, and got friendly with Rodney – and then invited him to a festival that he (Vesa) set up in Finland. And the Bachatando festival next year followed.. I must say that I’m curious about how things would look if I didn’t meet Christine? Would I have brought Jorge anyhow? Would Rodneys encounter with european festivals have been in 2008? And what would have happened if the first festival was held later? Never mind.. This is the reality!

      But now.. To read this..
      Well.. I can’t say that I’m surprised – but still.. I can see the reason to why anyone would want to tell their teacher that he or she or they really are someone(s) that made a great inpact, and taught the person a lot. But this is not such a message – is it? Then why would anyone “hide” behind a pseudo? Why use the hazzle of “Domain through proxy”? And – after reading -it’s kinda’ easy to understand.

      A few notes though;

      Kris: It’s not hard to see that you live in the USA – but is THAT the only impact we get in the dance?
      Well.. Of course.. Juan Ruiz lives in Australia – but – you probably met him in USA at Rodney’s festival – right?
      And – are you the same “Kris Mambo” on Facebook? Then I would certainly understand your list.
      You also state: “most influential people in this dance”. That’s is a quite rough statement, isn’t it?
      The “article” or whatever one might call it, tells us who was the godfathers OF THE DANCE, and who are the most influential people OF THE DANCE.. Hmm.. I find that to be a strange thing to write, and then to name a few teachers that you know about. This list should be called; My top teachers! :o) That would suit this “article” as well.

      Juan Ruiz: Hi there mate! Just wanted to add to your comment – basically the same thing as I wrote to Kris – that anyone is entitled to an opinion. But I think that it would be better to not generalize that “THIS IS IT FOR THE DANCE” and then to say… “at least.. that is what I think” in 6pt font size (basically). Everything in this “article” is about blowing everything out of proportions, and later to say that this is a personal opinion. Then.. Why not telling everyone to start with – that this is a list of teachers that he (or she that we’re supposed to think) likes better? I would think that it would be more correct than what is written so far.

      I’m not interested in being on any list at all. I know Tony mentioned us earlier – but.. Is there fame in being someone that do what they can for the culture? For the music of the people in the DR? I can’t see why there would be. If it WILL be “the next Salsa” I would not like it at all.. That’s just a personal opinion. The reason is that there is sooo much prestige in the Salsa scene – as opposed to Bachata today. And I really hope that it will remain what it is – even if it will grow.

      I hope to see no competitions – just pure fun on the dance floor. Because – I’m of the opinion that competition puts prestige in any dance. I’ve been involved in 17 different dances – and I can’t see any exception so far. I just hope for Bachata to remain a peoples dance. It’s nice with performances – but even there.. I’m a bit afraid that it will be prestige in them as well.. It’s just a concern. NOT what I KNOW..!

      I do clap my hands for everyone that makes the scene bigger – because that is a great step in the process of making people aware of the dance and the music. But – as Tony pointed out earlier – this is because of Salsa promoters to start with. We’re second in on this one.. But we do a good job.. Everyone of us…

      From Nestor and Juan in Australia, Vesa (and also Sami) from Finland, Frank and Alina in Estonia, Bachata Souls in Lithuania, Reyza in Norway, Frederic in France, Gabryel y Begona in Spain and also Luis Rodriguez, Inaki in the UK, but also Dan and Bex, another woman whose name slips my mind right now, Gregory and Nanda in Belgium, and also Arawi of course.. and MANY MANY MORE which I haven’t forgotten, but it would take sooo much time to write them down here…. and then – of course the teachers in USA.. Most of them mentioned here..

      Anyone may have personal taste.. They should have.. That is what makes everything different! That is a good thing.
      But.. this was not anything else than a bad way to try to market certain people. I don’t think that is a good evolution of Bachata. THAT is also a personal opinion.

      I hope to see Bachata grow, and I hope that lists of THIS kind will be very few.
      But – at the same time – to praise your teachers would be a good thing I think.

      I live and breathe Bachata as well.. as many of us do..
      For me – this is my spare time.. My job as a Trainer for Microsoft is probably what should be called “My life” – but I love to teach people about Bachata. I’ve gained lots of information, and visited the country for that purpose only… bought every song I could find to listen and recognize the artists and differences and evolution of the music.. I studied the country history, and much around that.. But.. I don’t wan’t to be recognized for that. I want people to know what I know. I hate to be in the center of the attention.. It’s hard to NOT be when organizing events – and writing responses like this. But.. How can I ever make a point without doing so? How can I ever tell anyone what I know, and learned for many years without opening my mouth?

      You don’t have to think LIKE me – and you do not need to like what I wrote.
      I was just telling a story on how things evolved when Bachata festivals started in the world.
      Many people probably don’t know how things started – as the only ones involved THEN, was my self, Christine, Tony Lara, (partly Jorge Elizondo), Juan Ruiz (on his side of the world) together with Nestor. There might be more people in the core organization of the Australian event that I do not know about – and I’m sorry for that (if I missed anyone).. But.. As Kris said; that Rochata and Juan had a vision to start bachata festivals, and that they didn’t know the outcome.. well.. that applies to ALL Bachata festivals around the world. But.. If you meant the FIRST festivals – well.. then it’s probably incorrect.

      Oh well..

      I’ve said what I needed to be fair and frank.
      Take it for what it is.. :o)

      I will probably not enter this site again – so if anyone would like to comment me – you can send me a mail anytime!

      Have a great day, everyone!

      Peter Dottax
      Bachata Sweden

      • bachatababe 4:25 pm on May 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Peter, “a pseudo name?” “proxy?” What are you trying to imply? If you are a member of wordpress, you’d see my profile and info. And it’s not hard to find me on FB. I am nice enough to approve your post, you and Tony, but at least be respectful and avoid writing indirect insults and accusations. What I wrote is my opinion, my own research and my experiences. We all have our opinions and preferences. This is not a topic of “the original people that stared the festival and why they’re tops.” “Influential” is the keyword here. I am from USA, which means that if you are an organizer in Europe, I haven’t heard of you. I have never heard of Tony Lara until he came to the SF Festival. As far as Vesa, Gregory and Juan, I met them in USA and have gotten to know their names through Rodchata. I love Juan’s website and always visit it. Vesa is not only making a difference in Finland but DR as well. Gregory and Nanda are tops because they are spreading bachata all over and very nice people. Rodchata is #1 on my list, as I already stated above because, he promotes several festivals and teach all over–that makes him the most influential. As a result, he is popular and people love him. After reading all these comments, I’m now more convinced that I have chosen the TOP 5 wisely. Lastly, if you are not happy with my posts because your names are not mentioned, or that I put your name in the last place, it’s too bad, write your own article. – Ardisa

        • Peter Dottax 7:24 pm on May 11, 2010 Permalink

          That is just what I was referring to, “bachatababe”!
          You can’t be serious and say that you have done “research” when you only met them and created an opinion – and that was that. If anything – it would be cool to see someone that writes from the perspective you gave from the start. I will paste some text here written by you;

          “Since that first encounter I have really immersed myself with the dance, including the history and roots of the true traditional bachata. Bachata is a feeling and a way of life. It is a true expression of one’s self to the world. With that said and with bachata blowing up all over the world, I decided that it is about time to really recognize the people that started it all. No one seems to really give enough credit to the ones that really loved bachata first and made this dance popular and such a big success. The godfathers so to speak of the bachata world.”

          “Recognize the people that started it all” – what did you mean by that? How could I have got that wrong? I’m just curious to know. As you say – we all are entitled to opinions – and everyones opinion is not always the one that one might want to hear – right? But still.. If I didn’t get it – I should ask.. So.. What DID you mean by that? Didn’t you just write that ” I have really immersed myself with the dance, including the history and roots of the true traditional bachata”?

          I honestly don’t get it!

          And regarding the thing about who started the festivals and who didn’t.. Well.. That was a reply to “Kris” – not to you. Just for the record. (Read that post and don’t take everything written personally)

          In regards to me being happy about your post or not – or if my name is on the list or not.. Well… Hehe.. I don’t blame you for not reading the entire post as it was kinda’ long – but as I said.. I’m not interested in being mentioned. You may think whatever you like – but.. Everyone that knows me, and most of the bachata teachers that met me and my wife – knows that we really don’t want any spotlights in our direction – what so ever.

          Hehe.. Well.. That I could do – but I don’t really have the time. It took some good time just for the previous reply. It is enough writing responses to things that seems a bit odd to write. And if you have something to add – which I did – then I add it! I mean.. I’ve been here for quite some time, and I do know a lot more than many people might think about what have happened and what have not.. I try to stay away from conversations like this – but… sometimes I just can’t do that..



      • Ardisa 11:21 pm on May 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Actually, I am serious and I have done my research. I have named top 5 influential people in the bachata world. I, in fact, explained why they are on top 5 and not top 10. I’ve read as many articles and talked to people as much as I could. I am sure that there are others as Tony mentioned that should be credited for where bachata is now, I don’t disagree with him. I will, perhaps, write another article on “100 People That Greatly Contributed to Bachata Growth.” For now, this is my top 5. You and Tony claims that Sweden Bachata was the 1st bachata fest, well, this is not what is recorded in history. Yours happened a month after Sydney, this is a fact and no explanation needed. In light of this, I like your posts except on some parts.

        • Tony Lara 2:29 am on May 12, 2010 Permalink

          lol… poor researcher but dont worry we are here to correct your info. By the way Italy did a Bachata Festival way back before anyone did, they had Aventura, Frankie Negron and Toke de Keda for concerts, plus alot of Italian teachers

          I will find the info and show you it for your info since you are researching who has influenced the Bachata scene.

          Really poor article, it should of read ‘My favourite Bachata instructors or promoters’, not Godfathers because in reality the real Godfather are the Dominicans all your top 5 are just business people who saw an opportunity to make money, not Godfather! think about it, you should really give 100% credit to them.

        • Peter Dottax 7:56 am on May 12, 2010 Permalink

          There we have it again: “Top 5 people in the bachata world”, and in the previous post you wrote: “I am from USA, which means that if you are an organizer in Europe, I haven’t heard of you.” – and still you call this research?

          My thought about this “article”, is that you don’t care (what so ever) about anything outside USA – if it haven’t been IN your country. If you haven’t met the person in the region where YOU reside, it doesn’t count for being influential according to you. (And I mean – ACCORDING to you – because that is what you are saying!)

          If you would ever write an “article” about “100 People That Greatly Contributed to Bachata Growth”, then please try to do the research. And I would just make a suggestion; Start with the record companies and radio stations in the DR. I can assure you that none of the names in YOUR “Bachata world” will even be included after finding 100 names. That is the truth! Just look at the title of the “article” and remember that throughout the research you’re doing. It helps!

          Neither me or Tony claimed that the Swedish Bachata Festival was held before the Sydney Bachata Festival. Read our replies again! I mentioned nothing about it more than the discussions ABOUT the festivals – and Tony said “the 1st PROMOTED Bachata Festival”.. None of us said that the Swedish Bachata Festival was the first one ever.. Only “promoted” (announced).

          It is quite obvious that you don’t have much information about this, and I can tell you all about it.
          But – do you think that YOU are respectful when you make up information and tell us – who LIVED with the organizations of how everything started – how things happened? Is THAT respectful? Don’t create a new past.. There is already one in place.

          If you need information about how things happened – then do talk with the ones that it concerns before telling stories.

          If you just feel like wanting to boost confidence in someones ego – then don’t involve others and have the facts correct as Tony said.
          If you want to write a general article about Bachata, the growth or whatever – just make sure that you don’t generalize when you’re saying that someone is godfather or whatever. You were trying to tell a story, and actually everything up till the end told us that this is FACTS. And then you write that this was your top 5.. But also that you did research – but proved later that it was only based on USA and what happens there. And moreover the direct connections between a special two..

          I encourage anyone to write about Bachata. That is important… But.. Don’t make up things and hide behind “this is my top 5”. Because that was obviously not the intention.

          Yes – I do say what I think. And I can understand why some people just don’t like that.
          To speak your mind is something I’ve learned from my wife – a very wise woman indeed.
          But – it’s needed. Very few people stand up for anything because it may hurt them, the reputation or whatever. That’s sad actually.

          Cudos to my friend Tony. He is also another man that always speak his mind. And I’ve seen it so many times… Some people just can’t stand that! 😀

          If you have a company, and/or need to live on your dancing – it’s understandable that you would be political about things – but to do or say things that are false/incorrect/lies/beneficial without substance/etc. etc. etc… That is just (most often) a way to promote yourself (or the company) – and not the thing you’re telling everyone that you stand for or promote.

          I’m generalizing here….

          Short background:
          Yes – I do have a company – and have had that for 13 years. Also.. I’ve been in the dance “industry” since 1989 when I started to dance, and got involved in running a dance company in 1992.. I do have the experience.. I’m just not writing for the sake of writing.


    • Nestor Manuelian 3:08 am on May 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Hey guys,

      I do find this whole post very interesting. I dont want to point fingers at who did what when and where.

      But one thing i do want to say is this.

      Thank you to all those that recognise what i am doing, have done and will do.

      For those that know you will know that i have taught bachata all over the world by invite not by flying myself and asking. This is because i have been doing bachata for a long time.

      From the LA and San Fran in the US, to Italy, All over Asia, Australia and New Zealand….

      The reason i mention this is not because of any list or for recognition of any sort. I do what i do because i love it, not for any accolades.

      All the people on the list should be proud that they were recognised because i truly believe that they deserve to be recognised, as well as people that weren’t on that list.

      I also understand that this article was a personal opinion based on personal research from the resources that they could gain.

      My only hope, is that all the resources that Ardisa you used, if they were from a person, that they gave you what they honestly knew and not a baised opinion for self promotion.

      I know that people like Rodney and Juan know exactly how the Sydney festival came about. So maybe ask them what they know. Maybe read the article that Rodney wrote about me and the Sydney Bachata festival before he came. This will shed light on a lot.

      I also do know that everyone who is organising, running, teaching bachata at the moment know very well the work that Tony Lara and Jorge Elizondo have done for Bachata for a long time before most if not all of the names on the list, whether they choose to recognise it or not is a different story.

      As to who came first, the chicken or the egg.. Well if you ask me Salsa Congresses gave birth the bachata festivals/Congresses. We took their lead followed ….. I know we did in Sydney.

      So, i think for future reference, writing an article that is going to be based on facts, should be carefully researched to avoid what has happened on this forum.

      Also, to all those Instructors and promoters mentioned, whether on the list or not… maybe shed light to educate people on the real events that took place and that are taking place in order for the rest of the bachata world to know where it came from, where it is, and where its going, so we can all benefit from the dance and the music that we all love so much.

      Lately i have read to many negatives articles about bachata and its very disappointing.

      Do you dance it right? is it my style? who created it? is it original? who should have won the comp? who’s event is bigger?longer? better?

      How about we write stuff on why we love to dance it? On why we spend so much money to promote it? On why we are so passionate about it?

      This will be much more helpful, for everyone on the list and off, and most of all our students and peers who just want to enjoy it and have fun, regardless of whether they are competing, performing or just social dancing.

      This is my opinion, and thats why i love organising the Sydney International Bachata festival year after year with Juan Ruiz and Sky Blue.

      I try not to part take in forums that are negative, but hopefully this will shed some light on the positives and let us all move forward.

      So i leave you with one final note:

      Check out my new bachata routine, hope you like it 😉

      Kind regards,

      Nestor Manuelian
      Modus Vivendi Productions
      Latin Dance Australia
      Sydney International Bachata Festival

      • carlos 12:36 am on July 31, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Nestor…nestor….nestor all I see here is aperformance that is all no real dancing you just put on a show you lack dancing skills but hey it works for you.

        • Nestor Manuelian 7:13 am on August 11, 2010 Permalink

          Thank you Carlos, i appreciate your feedback 🙂

          Actually here is one of my social dancing, feel free to critique it if you like… i always up for constructive criticism..

    • Ardisa 5:22 pm on May 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Hi All, all of you have valid points. I will take all of these into consideration and make the article more personal as most of you suggested. I’m very sorry that I offended some of you. All I was trying to do was honoring my favorite bachateros enumerating what they have contributed into the community as a whole.

    • Laurie Pizzuti 1:05 am on May 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this debate on Bachata. Between the lines of who did what first and when, I learnt a lot about the spread of Bachata throughout the world. Living in Sydney, I have attented all three Bachata festivals here, also performing in the first one. My thanks to Juan,Nestor and Sky for their work. Thanks also to Rodney, Tony, Jorge & Leslie and Ataca & Alemana whose workshops I have attended. At 55 years old, I want to thank ALL the people who have had the courage to promote Bachata all over the world, for giving me a new lease on life through this wonderful dance. I hope to get around to all the other festivals around the world one day.

    • Art Williams 6:04 pm on July 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Well, as they say in Hollywood…..”all publicity is good publicity”.

      And I’m sure the debates over this post can only help the journalistic resume of Ms.”Babe”. But I gotta put my 2 cents in too.

      I’m frankly surprised that Ms.Babe didn’t mention Jorge Elizando. I can’t attest to what effect he might have had on the European, Australian or otherwise ‘international’ bachata scene but I certainly think that anybody who really knows the US scene would have included him in their list.

      I started salsa dancing around 2000 in Houston and I can attest that Bachata during those years, up until I came over here to teach English in S.Korea, was simply that ‘other dance’. I mean….kinda the scruffy little distant relative in Latin dance that people just kinda used as a fill-in.

      From my point of observation there in Houston all those years, Jorge was the first guy to really go out on a limb and take risks and make personal sacrifices to promote Bachata. And he kinda didn’t even want to do that….at first.

      Jorge and I went to the 2005 Casino Rueda Congress in Miami and I remember Jorge telling me that I would really enjoy seeing Hips On Fire(HOF), the folks who actually invented ‘Bachata Rueda'(up in Boston). That event was probably where I began to see a bigger picture of Bachata.

      It was only later, after we’d been back in Texas for a few months and Jorge came out with his first DVD, Bachata Rueda, while still working his public school music director’s job, that he told me he had asked the HOF people if they wanted to do a DVD on Bachata Rueda.

      At the time, Jorge was gentleman enough that he didn’t want to infringe on their ‘territory’. But, as Jorge relates the story, they said ‘no’ and it was only then that Jorge decided to make and release his own DVD.

      One thing led to another and Jorge is where he’s at today. Frankly I’m not sure that even he expected it to be as lucrative for him as it has been. I think he was more expecting the ‘rueda’ aspect of it to be what the market liked but it turned out the other way around. People actually liked more the ‘Bachata’ part of it.

      But I can tell you for a fact, because I witnessed it, that for that first year or so he had a hell of a time getting anybody in Houston or Texas to give him any respect. The reason…….? The reason was because at that time he was a ‘nobody’ and at that time (in Texas anyway) people just didn’t think Bachata had that much substance. Certainly Bachata dancers didn’t have the status that ‘salseros’ did.

      I forget exactly how long it was before Jorge went ‘full time’ but I know that for that first year or so he worked very hard. If it wasn’t for the fact that people who attended his classes really liked what they learned, and they liked him, I doubt that he would have persevered as long as he did.

      I think it’s one thing to be established enough to be invited to teach at events. That’s certainly laudable. But in my book, it’s an even greater thing (i.e. tougher to do and indicative of an even greater commitment) to just ‘hit the road’ like Jorge had to do that first year or so.

      He doesn’t have to do it now but back in that first year or so, he’d teach almost anywhere and would do it with basically no guarantees of compensation from the sponsoring studios other than the opportunity to sell his DVDs and maybe, sometimes, get some portion of ‘the door’. Being a former ‘travelling salesman’ myself, I think that shows a tremendous amount of committment……..and ability.

      I think the reputations that all these other Bachata superstars have is certainly deserving of commendation but, in my book, building a successful global business and a positive global reputation the way that Jorge has takes a special set of skills and attitude that goes well beyond sitting comfortably in your local studio and waiting for the phone to ring.

      And, of course I don’t have any way to research this, but I seriously doubt that anybody, in Bachata, has a track record of having as good and as extensive a line of retail products as Jorge has. Only a complete fool would call that insignificant.

      I’ll tell you why he doesn’t get more public acclaim than he does. It’s simply because he’s not the ‘pretty boy’ or ‘Mr.Personality’ that some of the other Bachata superstars are. He’s got a little weight problem…sure. And he is, in some ways, a rather private person. But I don’t see anybody else who’s built a business, from total zero, that’s reached as many people in the short length of time that Jorge has.

      Everybody learns from everybody else. That’s the way it is. And any art form, like Bachata, evolves. Of course lately, the Bachata community and Bachata markets are starting to re-discover it’s roots…..i.e. Bachata Dominicana.

      But I don’t think you can realize how far you’ve gone until you do, in fact, move down the road a little bit and I don’t think most people realize how much Jorge Elizando has done for Bachata. I think his hard work and sacrifice is a big part of the reason we’re even able to have a discussion like this.

      BTW……..in case you’re wondering. I’m just a guy who knows Jorge from my days back in Houston. I helped Joge get a few of his first gigs there in Houston and he used to sleep on my couch when he came to town. I can salsa fairly well I guess but I really like Bachata more….and recently I’m into Kizomba. I’ve been trying to get Jorge to do a DVD for it…but he won’t 🙂

      I’ve got a blog called WanderingSalsero.net that doesn’t have a lot of readers but I do it anyway because it’s just an expression of me and the things I care about……which happens to include a few things other than music.

      I also do some social media management in case any of ya’ll need some help building your public circle of influence. If you wanna see where I am on the net… just Google ‘wanderingsalsero’.

      Best regards,
      Art Williams

    • Ardisa 4:58 pm on July 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Art, I would have to agree with you. Mr. Elizondo, aside from being one of the first person to teach bachata all over the world, is now hosting an annual bachata festival in Dallas. I recently saw him at the 2nd San Francisco Bachata Festival. He is definitely one of the people that greatly contributed to the bachata world.

    • carlos 2:13 am on October 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I’m sure all of you can name many people that have influence bachata thru out the years, the real question is, can you name 5 that can actually dance well? I will name the first one then anyone can mention the rest,ok.
      1-Troy and Jorget

      • Ardisa 9:49 pm on October 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        so then it’s possible that non-Dominicans can actually dance well?

        • carlos 1:04 am on October 11, 2010 Permalink

          Of course non-Dominicans can dance well, I have not seen one yet but I have seen some that come very close, but the problem with them is that they do not take it serious they seem to be very playful to show that bachata is all about having fun and not keeping with the rhythm and flow of the dance.they are more interested in putting on a show than actually dancing. Of course it is more difficult for a non-Hispanic but like I said I seem some come close.
          Lots of people claim to live bachata so much even though they don’t understand the language, how can you love something you don’t understand? you may like it but like and love are very far apart.
          Some of this people can’t dance cause they are more concentrated in steps than the actual rhythm and flow of the dance therefore loosing the essence of the dance.
          Most people are replacing footwork with uper body movements which is a no no, bachata is all about the footwork instead they are replacing it with lots of twisting, turns and dips.
          Last but not least they are picking songs that are very lame to dance, songs that are for listening pleasure not which does not motivate you orchallenge you to do better.

        • Ardisa 4:59 pm on October 11, 2010 Permalink

          “Of course non-Dominicans can dance well, I have not seen one yet but I have seen some that come very close, but the problem with them is that they do not take it serious they seem to be very playful to show that bachata is all about having fun and not keeping with the rhythm and flow of the dance.they are more interested in putting on a show than actually dancing. Of course it is more difficult for a non-Hispanic but like I said I seem some come close.”

          Here’s another one you said…
          “I’m sure all of you can name many people that have influence bachata thru out the years, the real question is, can you name 5 that can actually dance well? I will name the first one then anyone can mention the rest,ok. 1-Troy and Jorget”

          YOU SAID “YOU HAVE YET TO SEE ONE” YET YOU MENTIONED TROY AND JORJET AS YOUR TOP 5…Troy and Jorjet aren’t Dominicans. They have never been to the Dominican Republic. Troy is a brother and Jorjet is Hondurian.

    • carlos 3:30 am on October 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      You musty not be very smart, I did say that troy and jorget are the only one on my top 5, where they are from I had no idea. So when you ask the question can non domincan can be good bachata dancer I said yes, I though we were a different convertation from before.
      So let me refrase it, I have not seen anyone else dance bachata good beside troy and jorget, not even Frank Santos who claims to be dominican.

      • Ardisa 4:38 pm on October 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        You obviously don’t read or think first before posting. Read your postings, you implied and at times, insult non- Dominican dancing bachata. I just basically trapped you. But now it’s good to know that, for the record, you said that it’s possible for non-dominicans to dance bachata well. Case closed.

        • carlos 1:18 am on October 13, 2010 Permalink

          I never said that non dominican can not dance well I repeat it again, I never attack people based on their nationality or their personality, I gave them my opinion based on their dancing abilities. I also like to state that just because you are Dominican does not mean you can dance, I personally know a lots of dominican that can’t dance and I tell them. I don’t descriminate when commenting if you good I let you know if you not good I also let you know, now do you have a video of yourself dancing? I will like to comment about it.

    • Eros Frometa 2:16 am on October 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Que viva la Bachata, los Bachateros, los promotores, y los bailadores, sobre todo.

      • carlos 1:58 am on October 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        “Que viva la Bachata, los Bachateros, los promotores, y los bailadores, sobre todo.”
        yo digo:

    • Nestor Manuelian 10:51 pm on October 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Yes! Finally i make a list on this forum 😉

      • carlos 11:55 pm on October 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        yeah you made the list but not for being a good dancer just one of the one that such,lol.

    • Nestor Manuelian 11:34 pm on October 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thats fine Carlos …. I will enjoy and love my bachata as a bad dancer….. if it has got me so many wonderful experiences so far been this bad, then hopefully i will get more if get better 😀

    • Jaime Jesus 6:03 pm on November 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      WOW!!! I am lost for words reading these articles…

      Only thing i have to ask is? who in the hell is Carlos and I bet $1,000,000 he would half the things he says to peoples faces!!!

      Carlos, your an embarresment the the latin dance world… Your a hater and there is no place for haters in a amazing dance community.

      So I ask you this please, can you go and play Nintendo on your own and leave the dancing for the nice people of this world who dont need to slag others!!!!


      • carlos 11:36 pm on November 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply


        • Ardisa 8:21 am on November 15, 2010 Permalink

          All the names mentioned above had done and contributed great things for bachata, Carlos, what have you done?

        • carlos 3:54 am on November 18, 2010 Permalink


    • carlos 11:32 pm on November 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      “So I ask you this please, can you go and play Nintendo on your own and leave the dancing for the nice people of this world who dont need to slag others!!!!”


      • Jaime Jesus 3:41 am on November 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        que me cuide porque? no te gusta lo que te digo? bueno a los demas tampoco le gusta lo que vos decis!!!

        Mira lo que estas asiendo esta muy mal, muy muy mal… Asi que si vos podes decir lo que queres, entonces los demas podemos tambien y aguantatelas.. Y como Latino te digo asi, PARA DE HABALR MAL DE OTRA GENTE! SI REALMENTE SOS UN HOMBRE, SAVES COMO RESPETAR A OTRA GENTE… FALTARLE ES RESPETO, Y HALBAR MAL DE ELLOS ES SOLO TU MANERA DE TRATAR TU INSEGURIDAMES MISMAS…

        Ser hombre porfavor y no halbles mal de gente promoviendo el baile latino al nivel mundial porque sin ellos, Bachata no seria nada como no era nada ase unos pocos anos atras…

        Demede criticar, porque no le appluadis a ellos que usan tu tiempo y su plata para promover y ayudar que nuestra musica y baile siga adelante, por mucho tiempo mas!!!

        Porfavor Carlos, pensalo bien y vas a ver que las cosas que decis, son injustas, malas y no se enesecitan para nada…

        • carlos 3:50 am on November 18, 2010 Permalink


    • nina 1:01 am on December 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      we dominican did not need nobady before or after to enjoy our bachata miusic.we live very well before the world know about bachata ..now everyboby is acting like they invent bachata..the only thing they do is an epilectic atact dances…as a dominican make me mad to see all this people detroing my miusic..you all can ………………..

      • carlos 12:11 pm on January 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for backing me up on this, they think that we should be thanking them for making bachata famous, they just are using our music to make a profit is all the white man do. go arround the world taking people culture and saling it to any ignorant that want to buy it. People that don’t even understand the language like this bachata babe clain to love bachata, I’m sure they don’t go arround buying bachateros cd. And also in order to sale it they arvertise bachata as sexy againg using sex to sale it to perverts. you all might think that you all big and shit but deep inside you just looking for something your culture don’t have even though some of your countries have great history but not bachata. So keep faking it like the great tony lara said”YOU HAVE TO FAKE IT TO MAKE”

      • Tony 5:13 pm on April 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        yeah but the question is what did you do before the spanish came over and gave you language and european culture?

        It is easy to say Bachata is from the Dominican republic but without European influence it would have never existed.

      • Tony 2:02 am on April 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        intellegence will tell us that without the Spanish Language, the Guitar ( Spanish) and African percussion Bachata would probably be something else… so dont be mad about Bachata now being an international dance with many different flavors. Regardless of what we do with it, it should not effect your life, carry on living well.

        Evolution of dances, music and anything else will continue with or without u or me, so you can either embrace it or be mad about it the choice is yours but it is a shame to waste your time with hatred, learn to LOVE!

    • Alida 10:02 am on January 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Does Carlos have a public video I can have a look at? Or is this it?

      What got me interested in Bachata was Ataca y La Alemana for THAT video on youtube. I’m sure that for many THAT choreography and THAT song was what got them started. Great partnership, and Tanja is magnetic!

      Nestor and Katrina from LDA. Nestor is cheeky and makes learning bachata fun. His nature pulls people into that Bachata fun he surrounds himself with. And I don’t think you can mention Nestor, these days, without Katrina.

      The two couples above were the springboard into the world of Bachata – it’s a sneakpeak – and I don’t know where it will lead. I hope that someday I too can ‘live and breathe Bachata’ =)

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