The authentic version is still danced today in the Caribbean and all over the world. It is increasingly danced to faster music, adding more footwork, simple turns and rhythmic free-styling and with alternation between close (romantic) and open position. Authentic Bachata is danced with soft hip movements and a tap or syncopation (1, 2, 3, tap/syncopation). It can also be danced with or without bouncing (moving the body up on the beats and down again in between the beats by adding slight spring to ones legs). Authentic Bachata was created by Dominican social dancers over the course of decades (starting around the beginning of the 1960s) and is still evolving to this day.
At some point in the late 1990s, dancers and dance-schools in the western world began using a made-up basic step going side to side pattern instead of the box-steps, maybe as they considered it too complicated or due to a misunderstanding of the authentic steps. The basic steps of this pattern move side to side, changing direction after every tap. Characteristics of this “early” dance school dance is the close connection between partners, soft hip movements, tap with a small “pop” of the hip on the 4th step (1, 2, 3, tap/hip) and does not include many turns/figures. Most of the styling in this dance is from ballroom dance and show moves like dips are commonly used in the dance. This was the first new dance to Bachata music that was popularized by dance schools outside the Dominican Republic.