© 2013 Brent Hassebrock

Attempted rhythm

“I have got to learn how to dance when I get back to the states,” is what I told myself last Thursday night, which turned out to be one of my fondest memories from my stint in El Salvador. My current dance repertoire consists of being bouncy, bad and off-rhythm all at once.

The night started out like many an awkward junior high dance with people sitting all around the outside of the dance floor but in those plastic chairs of which every Salvadorian seems to own at least four or five. I guess I just missed the memo that we were having a dance group come and perform for us in La Coordinadora that night. So, when I was about to awkwardly get up and start moving to the rhythm, a throng of youth group kids from nearby municipalities arrived and put us at ease with their compilation of dances ranging from American pop to Latin with of course some “Gangnam Style” thrown in.

Even the talent of the youngest dancers surprised me. One boy and girl, of which neither could have been older than 11 or so, performed all moves perfectly. They even did those ones that require lifting, twisting, hoisting, etc. It was actually kind of mind-boggling.

The night eventually saw me being led by Marta, my wonderful host-mom, in the simplest salsa step combination imaginable. I probably stepped on her toes a few times, but she didn’t let me know if I did.

So, if you find yourself in the Bajo Lempa, take a try at swallowing your pride, lacing up your dancing shoes and just seeing what else the wonderful people in those communities can teach you. With Salvadorians of this class, no awkward tension hangs around in the air the night before you fly out of the country for what could sadly be a very long time.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Sites DOT MIISThe Middlebury Institute site network.