There are some big differences with how Bachata is danced in the Dominican Republic in comparison to how it is taught around the world. One of the biggest has to doing with Bachata dance rhythm and timing. When Bachata is taught around the world the vast majority of classes teach students to dance "on 1," taking their first step on the first beat of the music and then marking, tapping, or touching the 4th beat. There is nothing wrong with dancing on this timing, but in the DR dancers can, and will start on the 1, 2, 3, or 4 in the measure. It is normal to see a floor full of dancers in the DR dancing to multiple timings.
Most of those familiar with the word "bachata" know it as a popular musical genre and dance form native to the Dominican Republic(DR). However, before it came to be used to refer to a genre of music it meant a "fiesta del patio" or an informal gathering of friends and neighbors where music was played and drink was often served. It was not until the early 1970's in the Dominican Republic that bachata came to describe a musical genre. It was first used as an insult, a disparaging term that impliee that the music and the people that listened to it were from a "lower" class, uneducated, crude, vulgar, and immoral. Today, to a great extent, the word has been "reclaimed" and currently has a much more positive connotation in the DR and internationally.