Wednesday, March 31, 2010


The cueca is the national dance of Chile. It is apparently inevitable that we will be asked to cueca at some point in our communities, and since we had the extra time, Allyson and Rad arranged for us to have a cueca lesson. This turned out to be in a restaurant with most of the patrons gone, and the tables pushed to the side. The instructor was Chilean, but might as well have been Irish to look at her, blonde with a hint of red, white freckled skin, and wide cheekbones.

We danced for about 90 minutes, while this older woman in her 60s or so looked on and really enjoyed watching all the gringos having fun trying to learn this thing that Chileans learn as soon as they can walk. When we reached the end of the class, she asked our instructor if she could demonstrate for us--with one of us four guys.

Of course it was me. In any group of normal people, if you need someone to do something potentially embarrassing, I'm your guy. (If you have a group of theater majors or a cappella singers, you'll have so many volunteers you'll have to draw straws.)

A word about how well I can move: it generally excludes dancing. I do very well with aikido, and any sport involving a racquet, and after lots of martial arts training, I can do reasonably well at a lot of other sports. I have a lot of trouble adding in the part of the brain to get myself moving in time with music.

I wasn't any better at it this time, but I did keep up and paying attention and not getting completely lost. Quena (her name) was really good, and a lot of fun to dance with. There's no video; I'll post photos later.

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