Cuban Music and Dancing

Cuba has the best live music and dancing I have ever seen. Hands down. Normally I wouldn’t make such an absolutist claim – wait – no I do that all the time, but both are really spectacular. And by spectacular I mean you will question what you have been doing with your life and why can’t you dance like them. They twist, bend, and move so gracefully and with a smile that it makes me depressed that I can’t touch my toes without huffing like 80 year old man in cardiac arrest. My last post may have led you believe that everyone in Cuba is a prostitute and all the tourists there look like heinous wildebeests by comparison, which is mostly accurate. However, like life, everything is about timing and is riddled with exceptions. Once you get outside of Havana, the “companeros” ratio drops by a factor of 10, so you will see Cubans dancing with each other, while white people smile awkwardly and try to tap in rhythm. Anything less than Cuban on Cuban dancing is the simply gods dallying with mere mortals on the dance floor. But in the larger picture, the music and dancing can be seen everywhere. Buena Vista Social Club is just the tip of the iceberg. From cafes to nightclubs to beaches to sidewalks to waiting in line, Cubans are dancing and live music fills the air. There is a stereotype that all latinos can dance to salsa or something else latino-y, but that is just mythology like unicorns or aids. Many latinos can’t dance at all, but Cubans….Cubans are a different breed. They all can. Even the most defunct Cuban has more musical/artistic talent than me. And that says a lot because I am like a misunderstood, retarded Pablo Picasco with a brush.

As you walk along the streets you will see cafes where you can enjoy mojitos with some rubberized seafood concoction as a local band dazzles and entertains you with the Cuban flair. The talent is first class. And even more remarkably, you can walk 3 doors down to the next café and see another group which is equally jaw-droppingly good.

A Cuban cafe with beats

Cuban music at night with sex in the air (and maybe money changing hands)

The biggest shame is that the society is so restricted because Cuban artists are a gift to humanity and serve as example of what modern societies have sometimes lost: our physical relationship with each other (and the ability to see our toes). I like to think if I didn’t have Facebook, Twitter, or reality tv that I too could dance like Fred Astaire or move like Ricky Martin, but then again – I stopped believing in a pink unicorn along time ago.

And one for the road – of the hottest tourist pulled on stage (smooth)

In conclusion, if the inspiring timeless architecture, classic cars, or very fit commercial sex workers isn’t your thing – Cuba is worth the visit simply to witness what live music and dancing is meant to be.

Turner barr

Hi, my name is Turner. I travel the world, hustle to find interesting jobs, and write about what happens when you read too many self-help books.

  • Will - My Spanish Adventure
    Posted at 05:20h, 13 June

    Love to go to Cuba mate. It seems like my whole Spanish learning mission has been leading up to it. Great round-up of vids too. 

  • Erin Parker
    Posted at 14:47h, 25 September

    hysterical. just found your blog and i love it! i’m obsessed with dancing and have wanted to experience the salsa scene in cuba…ahhhhhhhhhhhh i want to go now! perhaps i wll fly my pink unicorn there

    • Turner
      Posted at 16:12h, 25 September

      Hey Erin – Thanks for the love. The dancing is amazing. I am off to Colombia in a couple weeks and so there will be much for to come. Stay tuned.

  • Dating in Cuba
    Posted at 19:52h, 27 January

    […] night continued in a normal fashion. Mojitos, Cuba’s finest live music. I spotted a girl dressed to kill lingering on the corner looking for a […]