The Cubana Chronicles: Wednesday April 11, 2012

August 25, 2012

 Dancing for Life

I’m on a mission tonight: I’m going dancing no matter what. This whole week really. Until I leave, I MUST dance my ass off. There’s something so incredibly liberating about giving in to the move and the beat. About allowing yourself to let go and just be. I love that. Its magical really, I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t dance at all. I suppose it’s the same frustration as being among people who’re speaking in a foreign language that one doesn’t understand, but you really really want to be able to jump in and talk and high-five with them. But you can’t. Frustrating. Dance is truly a language in and of itself. You can communicate so many things there: caring, sensuality, love, anger, trust, distrust…yeah.

This leads me to [finally]say something about bodies. Cubans are into bodies. Well, I think its Caribbean people in general actually, coz I’ve seen the same from a few people from this area south of the US in general. Looking at bodies, touching bodies, having bodies. And its not just model-looking bodies. There’s something about stomachs here that’s so different. The display of stomachs that is. Women AND men tend to walk around with their bellies hanging out, some out of necessity (when its hot, the men tend to ‘ventilate’ that way) but some out of a sense of sensuality. Its quite liberating I think. I can’t tell you how early we were taught to feel ashamed of having a belly, other girls prodding and taunting you for having the slightest amount of bulge. Here the bulge is kinda sexy. Not for everyone, but I don’t see belly women shrinking into the shadows here. Nope. They put some spandex shirt on that bad boy and let it JIGGLE!

Same thing for asses…ESPECIALLY for asses. Some spandex and tight jean shorts and BAM! Dangerous woman alert. Some pink panties and a see thru skirt and you’re in business. Now, from my own experiences I’ve also come to learn that [surprisingly] women with curves don’t have that many clothing options here, so that might add to the accentuated backsides, but there’s definitely a pride in it. A comfortability. A lack of blame or shame, no older church ladies covering their mouths in horror and running after the youth with prayers and holy water. No politicians denouncing Madonna and hip-hop for misleading the youth. Just a bunch of people who’re able to accept that some bodies do look that way, and have chosen to sit back and appreciate.

I love bodies here. I love MY body here. It feels healthier without all the judgment. Thank you for that Cuba, I needed it.