Friday, April 29, 2011

Black in Latin America: Cuba

I did not want to post this until I had the chance to view it for myself. Most of my friends are Cuban. I have more Spanish-speaking friends than African-American friends and ironically most of of my African-American friends are fluent in Spanish.

My friends joke with me that I am adopted into the Cuban family and often they will only speak Spanish around me then give me the eye when they are done meaning "Did you get that?" LOL!

The stories they tell are first-hand knowledge. Fleeing Cuba in the 80s, the family members that are still there desperate to get out and of course, the poor nation that seems to produce some of the best musicians in the world. The documentary did not go into the world of Cuban music known as "Timba" or the great Salsa that comes out of the small nation which was disappointing but it was eye-opening.

It did go into the slave trade, how the Cuban people refer to themselves as "Cuban" before any other color. The fact that Cuba received twice as many slaves as the USA. The race relations that plague their country. Watching this, I thought of my adopted Cubano de familia and how people view them. Most of them have brown skin, some darker than mine and some lighter than mine. Many of them are considered black here in America. But...ask them and they will proudly tell you "I'm Cuban!"

Watch the full episode. See more Black in Latin America.

Until Next Time,
Peace & Blessings...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Random Thunderstorms...(Life in General)

This time of year is usually crazy for me and 2011 is living up to that reputation.

My events company had a wonderful event in April. It is always a good sign when the servers and the owner of the venue have smiles at the end of the night. Even better sign when you call the owner to discuss his thoughts and the second thing after hello is, "Are we still on for...?" Yes, indeed!

I put the final nail in the coffin of the Addiction. He was sending me articles on education. Finally, I questioned his motives and his response of 'nothing, just sending you articles I thought you would be interested in' blew my top. My response? "Thank you for the article. Please do not contact me again." GTFOHWTBS!

I think my first performance group has officially disbanded. That is not a bad thing. Honestly, it was financially draining and time consuming. It introduced me to dance and for that I will be forever grateful but it has run it's course. Everything has a reason or season.

Thinking this may be a transitional period for me. Transition is not a bad thing. I'm learning (as always) and growing as a person while becoming comfortable with my limitations and expectations.

I have a big event on the horizon. I can feel it, touch it and have some great ideas in mind. I should have final partnership approval by the end of the week. God's got this. My events have steadily become better and have literally fallen in my lap. Coincidence? Not at all!!!!

Life, my friends, is good. Enjoy it!

Until Next Time,
Peace & Blessings...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Black in Latin America: DR and Haiti

I know it has been a while since I have documented anything here but life has taken over. Considering my love of all things south of the border, my Salseras made sure I knew about this documentary series airing on PBS. A good number of my Salseras and Salseros (men and women who dance Salsa) would be considered "Black" until they opened their mouths. A few of them will keep you guessing until they decided to speak Spanish or (in a few cases) French.

There are a LOT of Americans who have no idea Africans were traded in South America and the islands before they made it to the U.S. The conversations I overhear in Salsa class amaze me sometimes. Including the lady who argued with my instructor about being hispanic as she demanded who gave him the authority to teach Salsa since he was obviously black!!

This should help and enlighten a few people. The full episode is embedded below. It is set to re-air so check your local listings. This is the first of the series including one on Cuba and Brazil. You KNOW I will be glued to the one on Cuba since the majority of my friends are now Cuban!

Amazing how race relations plague the world....

Watch the full episode. See more Black in Latin America.

Until Next Time,
Peace & Blessings...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Last Night a DJ Saved My Life...

The one place I am totally carefree is the dance floor. I love to perform but freestyle dancing on the Salsa dance floor with a good partner puts me in an indescribably great place of euphoria. Seriously, the smile that finds me on the dance floor is natural, it just happens. It simply finds me and stays there until the song is over. Especially when I have a great partner who I can trust on the floor, someone who protects me and allows me to give him total control.

This year, due to some drama and emotional stress, I took a hiatus from the dance floor. I usually dance at least twice a week but I stayed off the floor for two months. I was off kilter, something just was not right and I could not figure it out until I returned to the hard woods.

And I returned to Salsa with a vengeance...

I returned to the dance floor with my event in March. We brought in the only woman Salsa DJ in the country and she wore us out! The following week I helped to teach a beginner's class on Tuesday, hit up two places that Friday (yeah, you read it correctly) and hit the floor again hard on Saturday. If that was not enough I also had rehearsal with my performance group the next day on Sunday. I'm talking about getting home at four in the morning exhausted and happy every night. And you know what? It felt absolutely wonderful!

It was wonderful to see the friends I had not seen in months. I felt absolutely great to be led across the floor again by men who know how to lead. Fantastic to have great dances with new friends. I have never seen a video of myself dancing socially when I was not on stage. Until now...

Thanks to the outstanding photographer who captures my events in photos, I now know what I look like on the Salsa dance floor...and I must admit, I like it. This short clip features this group's version of Mi Musica. As you know they are one of my favorite groups so the Salsa Hubby (guy I'm dancing with) was jammin' with me :-)

BTW - The album on Amazon is NOT the new one. It says April 2011 as a release date but that is the US release date of that album. It is actually 2 years old, the new songs are available on itunes.

Until Next Time,
Peace & Blessings...