Travel Blog, Written Words

Dance salsa in Cuba and forget your senses

When you travel you sometimes find yourself out of your comfort zone. And that’s exactly how it should be. Leave those worries behind and let yourself get loose and funky. Literally.

I’ve never really been one for dancing, at least not with a partner. I guess it must be this new wave of feminist girls, who simply cannot, for the life of them, let a man be in control. I can’t let go. I don’t trust him to be able to lead me the way I want to go. So I always end up twirling the guys around, like the true power girl I am. And let me just tell you.. I’ve got this one move that works every time. But that’s another story.

I visited Cuba in December 2016 and it was a party. My friend Adriana, from Switzerland, had been there previously, so she knew all the right places to go. One night she took me to a local salsa club and oh god…
We enter the club and everybody is an expert. There’s no doubt about it. This is not their first time. Even my friend was a natural. She had taken a few classes so she already knew the basics. Me on the other hand, had no idea what I was doing. So I stayed on my seat, smiling politely at all the people dances their asses off. Oh how I wished to be like them. Yes, I felt like Ariel, but that’s only because I always feel like a Disney Princess, but that’s beside the point. Suddenly.. A man came up to me and asked if I wanted to dance. I wanted so bad to say no, but seeing that I love a good story and a great adventure, there was no way I could say turn him down.

Round and round we went on the floor, Bambi on ice (last Disney reference I promise) and him twilling around like he had been born knowing the art of salsa. Which he probably had, for he was from Cuba. He taught me a few things and found me adorable as I stepped on his feet every other moment. When I finally learned a few steps, the music stopped for it was time for the big competition.

5 couples got on stage and had to compete to become the best salsa couple of the night. And guess who wins…. Obviously the guy I danced with. So not only did I suck, I was dancing with the best guy in the club. Oh god…. please make it stop.

He asked again if I wanted to dance, but I politely said NO! No way I was going back on that dance floor and make a fool of myself. As I sat there looking at all the smiling people, failing, trying and laughing while dancing to the beat, I felt envious. I had to join them once again. When the next guy asked, I had to say yes.
That is also the beauty of this sort of bar. People come to dance. No funny business or creppy thoughts. They are all so friendly and want to teach you how to dance. So throughout the night I danced with about 8-10 different guys. Again, that is normal here, and I had a guy at home so don’t get any funny thoughts please. It was all very innocent. With bodies close together, the sweat tripping down and the whispering in your ear…. I mean it’s Cuba after all, what did you expect 😉

I got lost in it! The music, the atmosphere, the people, the beautiful men everywhere I looked. I had even learned some new moves and gotten a bit braver after downing a beer. As the true dane I am, I was naturally wearing a fanny pack. The safest bag to wear while traveling. But not the best bag for swinging around in a heated salsa moment. So I gave in to my senses and gave up on my sensibility and left in on a chair. I know I know. HOW STUPID CAN YOU BE! Cuba, bag, salsa club…

Round and round we go and BANG… My bag is gone. Not a big plot twist I know, but that’s what happened. I knew it was the people I had been dancing with, for they had lured my friend away, so they could take it while I was staring helplessly into some guy’s eyes. Thank god there was nothing of importance in there. I only had cash, and my lip-balm.

The night was over before it had even started. Or that’s a lie, it was quite late and I was over salsa anyway. But seeing that I had screamed loud to anybody who would listen, that my bag had gotten stolen, some guy came running after me. “Wait miss, wait”. There in his hand was my bag! Wet, and without money, but fuck it! I got my lip-balm back and isn’t that the best ending to every story!

So the moral of this kids is… Go to Cuba and dance salsa, for it is both funny and silly. But do not leave your bag with a group of strangers who you only trust because they know how to shake it 🙂