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Bachata: What to Wear?

Updated: May 10

This audio was recorded by Danny Kalman, the Director of Movers and Shakers Salsa and Bachata Dance Academy. The following text is an unedited transcript of his audio and headers have been added for clarity.

"What should you wear when dancing bachata? We're going to answer this question, both for our ladies and for our guys.

Best Shoes for Bachata Dancing

Let's start with shoes. These days, people are dancing bachata in pretty much any type of shoe. There's not a lot of spinning in bachata so you can get away with most shoes. People like to wear something comfortable, but if you wear shoes that are more slippery on the bottom, you'll have a better dancing experience because there's a little bit of turning, and slippery soles will allow easier movement in any direction.

Why Invest in Dance Shoes for Bachata?

If you decide to buy dance shoes, your experience will be even better. Dance shoes are slightly tighter on the foot, giving you more control when moving. They have suede bottoms, making it easy to turn and making the whole experience easier. So, if you're getting into bachata and want to do it a lot, we recommend getting dance shoes.

Choosing the Perfect Dance Shoes for Bachata

What type of dance shoes should you get? These days, most people are wearing flats but you can certainly wear Latin heels. For the ladies, heels are nice and elegant for bachata, but flats are quite popular for casual social dancers.

Many dance shoe companies are making shoes that are kind of like sneakers. Some companies have indoor/outdoor soles; it's a hard rubber to spin on cement and a wood floor indoors. So basically, any flat dance shoe is perfectly fine for bachata, and there are many fashionable, stylish options as well.

Bachata Dance Attire for Ladies and Gents

dance attire for bachata dancing in los angeles

Men's Style Guide for Bachata Dancing

For the rest of your attire, anything you're comfortable in is great! When you go out, just dance to your style. If you like to wear slacks, wear slacks. If you like to wear jeans, wear jeans. Some people like their button-down shirts, while some like t-shirts.

Some people wear suits when they go out social dancing, but it will be more casual if you're in a class. Some guys even wear shorts to class; I've seen a lot of athletic pants, so it's pretty much up to you and your style.

Women's Style Guide for Bachata Dancing

For ladies, if you're in class, make sure the teacher can see your feet, so avoid big, flowing dresses. It's the same thing when you go out social dancing; you should wear whatever fits your personality and what you are comfortable in.

Some clothing can be restrictive, which you might want to avoid. For instance, long, tight dresses aren't ideal for social dancing. If they limit the movement of your legs from side to side, then they're not a good choice for bachata. Even skirts, if you're wearing a shorter skirt, just know that your skirt will end up hiking up a lot.

Tips to Feel Comfortable in Your Bachata Dance Attire

When dancing bachata, partners can be very close to each other, especially in a social dance setting, so make sure you're wearing something underneath that you're comfortable in. A lot of girls, for example, will wear a skirt but with some sort of athletic tight shorts underneath that, recognizing that their skirt will probably end up hiking up a lot.

For your shirt, wear something that stays on your body well, so if you're dancing and the straps of your top are falling off your shoulders, that becomes annoying so you have to keep pulling it up; and if the strap is kind of loose, it will definitely slip and start to fall off while you're dancing so it's better if your top fits your body a little more tightly.

Some girls wear these big one-piece bodysuits that are painted onto your skin – that's really nice but just for people who are comfortable with that clothing style. You could wear any top you like, as long as it's fitted to your body, and it will stay on your body while going through all sorts of crazy dance movements.


The biggest takeaway is that dance shoes make a big difference for both ladies and guys. Heels are very nice for ladies, but flat dance shoes are popular nowadays for bachata. Wearing clothing that fits your style and what you're comfortable in is probably the most important thing for your attire. "

Bachata Classes in Los Angeles

This audio was created by Danny Kalman, the creator and director of Moves and Shakers Salsa and Bachata Dance Academy in Los Angeles, California. If you are in Los Angeles, reach out to us for bachata classes. We'll teach you everything from the top with proper structure to get rock solid foundations.

Come learn about the Movers and Shakers bachata programs, performance team, parties, amazing community, and so much more.


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