Working as a DJ in the South Florida salsa scene, Jorge Charun watched bachata, a Dominican Republic rhythm and dance, take the place of reggaeton in dance clubs and on the radio.
"There's a huge demand for bachata music now," Charun says. "A lot of people, as they play in different venues, they realize that every time they play bachata, everybody is on the dance floor."
That's why he created the first South Florida event dedicated to bachata. The South Florida Bachata Freaks Affair will be held Saturday at VK Dance Studio in North Miami Beach. It will feature professional bachata performers, workshops and an open dance floor before and after the shows. Salsa dancing will also take place.
Although bachata often uses turns and spins that are similar to salsa, it's a slower and more sensual dance, in which the partners move so close to each other that their hips touch and their legs intertwine. The basic step is from side to side, instead of back and forth.
"I like bachata because it's very sexy. It's really easy to connect when you're dancing bachata," Charun says.
Charun likes it so much that he often leaves his post as DJ and joins the dance floor, going back to his station right before the song ends.
South Florida Bachata Freaks Affair will begin 9 p.m. Saturday at 3363 NE 163rd St., Suite 101, in North Miami Beach. Admission is $20. Go to Miami.VKdance.com.