I’m listening to ICB’s Jazz Impressions, and a song came up that had this Latino beat to it, and I’m messing around my kitchen and I start shimmying to it. I catch myself in the mirror, and bust out laughing.
A few years ago, after college, my friends and I went down to the Dominican Republic, Las Terrenas to be precise. And LT is not a tourist attraction. It’s beautiful with sandy beaches and a great waterfall, but it’s very much a locals-only kind of city/town. After dinner one night – no doubt chicken, rice, beans and plantains – we all sort of wandered around to see what we could find to do. Of course, like mice to the piper, we headed in the direction of the music.
I don’t remember very many details. It was outside. The night was warm. There was a small live band. A lot of people sat at tables, so I presume it was part of a restaurant deal, but it was conjoined with a large public space/opening. We just kind of wandered in and stood and watched as some 10-20 people danced. I don’t remember being particularly awe-struck by any of the dancers — okay maybe one couple still sticks out as knowing what they were doing — but mainly, it was just people having a good night out.
And man did I want to dance. I wanted to go shimmy around, and shake, and get out-of-breath, and laugh, and have the same fun that I saw twirling around in front of me. I don’t know why I didn’t. Was I afraid to embarrass myself in front of my friends? In front of the locals? Was I not wearing the right clothes? Was it not the right type of music?
I don’t ever want to not dance again.