Subbu and Reid formed Xtasy Dance Company in 2011. They have been dance partners for 3 years now, doing different forms of Latin dance including salsa and bachata.
Subbu is originally from the city of Chennai, in the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Reid hails from the small town of Hood River, Oregon. Subbu has been dancing, directing and choreographing various forms of dance for almost 20 years, including his first love Bollywood. Subbu also teaches local Bollywood classes, and a Bollywood Latin fusion performance group Desi Caliente.
Bachata was born in the countryside of Dominican Republic in the 1950s. With its roots in Bolero, it has evolved over the last 60+ years and is danced all over the world, albeit with many variations and distinct styles. The “basic” is a three-step with a tap on the fourth beat. The tap is often accompanied by a “pop” of the hips, or sometimes substituted with syncopated steps (steps in-between the beats – for instance the triple step or “cha-cha-cha”). The basic can be danced side-to-side (modern-style) or in a box step (Dominican-style). Bachata is usually partner dance, but it can be danced in open or closed position, involve fast footwork, or the more contemporary addition of dips/tricks, turns and patterns.
Traditional bachata music possesses a very distinct melodic, rhythmic, and often syncopated sound. The heart-wrenching lyrics often tell a story about the woes of love. The band consists of five main instruments: lead guitar, second guitar, bass guitar, bongo drums, and the washboard sounding instrument the “güira” (pronounced “gwira”). Some of the newer, modern music has added elements of pop and hip-hop. Dancers are also fusing other music/dance forms into interesting hybrids, for example “Bachatango”, the marriage of Bachata and Tango.
Bachata is less about the technical aspects of dance and really about musicality, style, expression and partner connection. It is a dance you can easily pick up without a background in formal dance training but seems to have endless possibilities for the exploration of different movements, styles, and rhythms. The music also offers diverse variety of moods, from minor chords changes weaving beautiful melodies and harmonies, to upbeat, driving, flirtations beats that make you want to hop out of your seat.