“They Stared at Me When I Appeared in the Neighborhood, But When I Began to Dance…”

I’m about to share with you one of my craziest experiences from my time in Havana!

(Read on to find out how this relates to your Salsa-learning journey.)

I actually just want to take to the bus to go out dancing…

But, you know, it’s Cuba: Sometimes you end up waiting for it for two hours — if it comes at all.

Imagine yourself at a dark bus stop next to an abandoned train station.You hear music and see flashing lights a couple of hundred of meters away from you — and you think to yourself: “Looks like someone is having a party!”

You’re also starting to get annoyed. “Their music is WAY too loud!” 10 minutes pass — 20 minutes. To hell with it. The bus doesn’t seem to be coming.

What are you going to do now? Well, let me tell you what I did.

I went to check it out — and I walked right towards what seemed to be a trashy stereo. 
“Why else would this salsa song fail to sound like the recorded version that I know?”
As I get closer to the lights, I see people. Many of them.

They also see ME. Heads start turning. Some of them look confused, others just stare. 
After all, I’m in a rather shady part of town — far away from the comfortably-lit tourist-streets.

Then it suddenly hit me: I’m looking at a concert (A real Cuban FREE underground concert for Cubans…)

And the craziest thing? The band that’s playing is no  less than El Nino y La Verdad, one of the most popular salsa groups in the world (!!!) It’s LIVE. This is why it doesn’t sound like the recorded version of the song.

At this point I had gotten over my grumpy attitude and got excited instead. (Actually, my feet started to get excited FIRST.) 

When I hear music I like, I simply cannot stop myself from dancing. Can you imagine how people looked at me NOW?

 Now that I started dancing to their music, in their neighborhood — obviously a tourist, wearing this touristy Hawaii-shirt, with my blond curly tourist hair?

They Stared at Me When I Appeared in the Neighborhood, But When I Began to Dance…

They started to smile. Turns out, some of them liked it. Then somebody send their girlfriend to dance with me. I think it was a test (but it appeared that I made it…)

I got offered drinks and snacks (Probably the first time any Cuban ever wanted to share something with me without an agenda).

Suddenly everyone seemed to like me. More women — all ages — wanted to dance with me. Different of people wanted to talk me inside of THEIR group.

This — to this day — was one of the few moments of genuine connection I experienced during my months in Havana. Guess what?

ALL happened when I started when Cubans saw me dance well. That’s — by the way — what you’re aiming for.

Dancing well enough — with soul — so that Cubans will like it. Because they are the ultimate judge of what it means to move to their rhytms.

When I created my Cuban at Home online-courses, I kept this experience in mind as my ideal.

I’m teaching how to dance like a Cuban — for Europeans (or really anybody who is not a latino). Why? 

So that when you find yourself in the middle of a underground salsa-concert in some dark quarter of Havana…

I just published a new course on Salsa MUSICALITY.

This will teach you how to truly move to the music (instead of mindlessly repeating steps).

This is what will happen if you improve your musicality: Cubans will look at your dance moves, and then smile because you get it.

Check out the new course here.

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