Zoe’s Vignette

    Coming to Cuba I had no idea how intertwined dancing is in the culture here. I’ve yet to meet a single Cuban who can’t girate their hips like a professional. So naturally I was pretty intimidated when it was decided that we were going out dancing with the Café Caliente dance team that we were working with in Santiago. We had learned a few moves from the classes that we took from the dance team, but it still didn’t change the fact that I, before coming here, had never even attempted to move my hips the way they do so naturally here. Once we got to the little restaurant with live music and we all ordered our usual Cola’s, it was time to get up and start moving. Being from America, there’s always the thought in the back of my head that if I’m a bad dancer everyone must be secretly watching and laughing at me in disgust, but as I looked around the room this didn’t seem to be the case at all. The dance team was smiling and laughing and just trying to teach us new dances and the people sitting around the live music were also smiling and laughing, but not in the ‘laughing at you’ kind of way. It was very comforting to see this and allowed me to loosen up and enjoy myself a little more. It really set the tone for the warm and kindhearted people I would encounter in the following three months.