Bachata Will Take the Lead as Dance of the Year in 2020, Say Dance Experts at Arthur Murray International 

As we move into a new year and a new decade, a survey of Arthur Murray Dance Studios points to Bachata as the most popular dance of 2020, with Salsa a close second. Bachata is not a new dance, but has grown in recent years from dance clubs to mainstream. Bachata is one of a family of Latin dances, including Salsa, Cha Cha and Merengue, that are danced to upbeat music with lots of “Latin rhythm” – that’s dance-speak for swinging hips.

Bachata originated in the countryside of the Dominican Republic, and combines movements and music from the Dominican Republic, Africa, and Europe. It can be danced with partners holding each other in a close embrace, or fast, with dancers holding hands and maximizing their hip swivels. It’s a sexy dance and works well for couples who want to keep it simple, or for skilled dancers, who add more complex moves.

“Arthur Murray Dance Studios from New York to California have told us that students come in asking to learn Bachata because they saw people dancing in a club or on YouTube and they want to learn,” said Tom Murdock, Vice President, Events and Promotions at Arthur Murray International. “Students love it, because they can master the basics easily and as their skills grow, they can add different things, like  twirls, turns or dips.” 

Here’s what our studios had to say when asked about the most popular dance for 2020:

Gabriel Gamboa, from the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Ashburn, VA, said Bachata is on par with Salsa as the most popular Latin dance played at dance venues.  Easy to learn the basics and lots of variations.”

Safwat Gerges, who owns Arthur Murray Dance Studios in Long Island, New York and several in the Middle East, says it’s all about Bachata: “The students enjoy incorporating their steps and turns into the Latin mid-tempo rhythms.”

In New York City Arthur Murray Dance Studio, Alexander Dokuleski says Bachata is on the way up: “Almost every student has done a routine in bachata, not just in my studio but in general in NYC, the bachata has taken over.  By using very simple steps and patterns, people can feel they are moving in the rhythm.”

Arthur Murray Dance Studios are also getting a lot of requests for Salsa, a Latin dance that blends traditional Latin music and dance steps with a lot of turning actions. Salsa is a favorite because there are so many places to dance to Salsa, including parties and clubs. It’s also perfect on a crowded dance floor, because it can be moderated to take up relatively little space.

In Stockton, California, Salsa takes the lead, according to Madisen: “Salsa is the most popular over here!  There are places to go salsa dancing, plus the teachers love to teach it.  Three main reasons: we get it requested the most by new students, students who come in who would like to go out dancing end up learning salsa because of the ability to find live salsa music in our area, and the teachers love teaching it so they suggest it be added to every program.”

Bob Powers in Mesa, Arizona agrees with Madisen: “Almost every student has Salsa on their program.”

In addition to Bachata and Salsa, the Viennese Waltz has made a reappearance for wedding couples. In Highland Park, New Jersey, the Arthur Murray Dance Studio reports that no less seven couples are preparing for their wedding in 2020 have asked for dances to songs that are best suited to the Viennese Waltz. None of the songs are classical, as the rhythm of the Viennese Waltz transcends all musical genres.

They seem an unlikely trio – Bachata, Salsa and Viennese Waltz – but walk into any Arthur Murray Dance Studio, anywhere in the world, and the teachers are ready for whatever their students want to master. That includes the Hustle, the Quickstep, Country Western, Argentine Tango, Nightclub Two Step or a Swing Trot. If you can pronounce it, they can teach it.

As more people decide to put their phones down and have fun connecting with other people, dance studios are growing in popularity as much as Bachata! Many Arthur Murray Dance Studios around the world have special offers for beginners. And every Arthur Murray Dance Studio relies on a time-tested system to make learning to dance at any level fun.  Arthur Murray Dance Studios can be found in 270 cities in 22 countries around the world. For more information, visit