I’ve left Cuba behind for a while on the photo front, but I didn’t forget about my promise to post the dancing. I’ve just been working on some other projects in the meantime.
Because I was actually involved in the dancing, I wasn’t able to take many photos of the dancers myself, but this small sequence is from one specific rhumba class I attended (but did not actually partake in with regards to the dancing part). Our instructor, a lithe Cuban with hips that don’t lie and enough spice to set the room on fire, also had infinite reserves of patience and instructional skill. Her imperturbable tutelage ensured that everyone in the room (excluding me, sadly) learned enough of a proper routine that they were able to show off their moves in one of the local clubs that same evening and look like (somewhat) seasoned pros.
I thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to watch everyone, with their swishy skirts that swirled and twirled around their legs as they shimmied along. If I close my eyes, I still hear oscillating fans blowing warm breezes by me – zwoosh, zwoosh, zwoosh, zwoosh. Methodical and melodic, soothing and sensual.
I was insanely jealous of everyone who could so easily pick up the steps and suddenly become a dancer.
Then again, if I was involved in the dancing, who would be taking the photos?
I specifically chose a slow shutter speed in order to enhance the feeling of movement and capture the ephemeral quality of motion. I wanted the images to make the viewer feel as though they were there, feeling the whoosh of the skirts and the rhythmic fluidity of bodies in sync, experiencing the moment right alongside me. Even the drummers pounding out the beats have a ghost-like quality to their movements. As if this is all a dream.