To celebrate my friend and dance instructor Abel Peña’s birthday, I headed to SoHo Dance LA last Saturday. The crowd I found was a mixture of professional dancers, hardcore salseros, and salsa aficionados like me. I was mesmerized from the beginning, watching Abel dance with all his friends. Each one has a particular style, sexy Latin, Latin Hustle, and Rumba. But it was Abel’s dad who delighted me the most, when he stood up to dance Danzón, sliding his feet slowly, lifting his wife during a turn, leading her across the floor with style and charisma.
I don’t know when I first started dancing, but I remember always dancing. From folklore shows in elementary school, to house parties as a teenager, to weekend dancing in bars in Caracas, dancing has always been part of my life, and I hope it will remain so.
Dancing lifts my spirit, makes me smile, and reconciles me with the joy of being alive. Dancing produces endorphins, the hormone I need to feel good, to beat the blues. Dancing is for celebrating life, making friends, feeling sexy, communicating with others. Dancing is to be alive and be happy and say goodbye to sorrow.
Today I have reasons to celebrate, but I’m holding my celebration dance for the day I release my book, I Asked the Blue Heron.