There are many misconceptions about Bachata dancing. Many cultures see it as an erotic dance for those with few moral values. This is untrue, and the goal of the dance is to show a partner how important they are. The original interpretation of the hip swaying movements was more about love and caring than erotic appeal. As the couple danced together, the amount of hip swaying told the story of how much the dancers cared about their partners. It was about a relationship and feelings, not about sex.
Bachata music and dance are distinctly Latin, and this continues the misconception about their nature. They have the rhythms and steps that identify them as part of the exotic music of the Latin culture. The steps of the dance are not original to the music. They are descended from other Latino dance styles. The swaying hip steps are distinctly notable. They were originally borrowed from Puerto Rican salsa dancing. While they have been modified over time, their origin is still apparent within the dance. The meaning of swaying hips is also different. The smoother the hip sway, the better the communication between partners.
Dancing the Bachata with a date may be a problem in some cultures. Because this dance is seen as erotic rather than romantic, many people may mistake the intent of the dancers. The dancers often appear to be engaging in intimate physical contact. This is especially true of the closed form of the dance because the partners never step away from each other.
This dance was originally a form of communication between two people. The steps and motion signified the ability of two people to dance together without verbal communication. However it appears to onlookers, the intent is romance and good communication. While it is an excellent dance for couples, waiting to be in a committed relationship before dancing the Bachata together might be best.