Last night I went out with my host sister, Gabriella, to celebrate her friend’s birthday, and I discovered that….
I was meant to be Chilean!
One of my favorite things to do in Harrisonburg, VA (where I went to College), was to go to the weekly salsa nights, at a little place downtown, called, “The Artful Dodger”.
Well in Chile, every night is salsa night!
Most of the locals have pretty much been salsa dancing since they could walk, so they’re all amazing dancers, and while at home the typical dance is something resemblant of a public dry hump, with some side swaying, here the style of dancing is just so much more fun and interesting. It requires actually skill and creativity!
I recognized a lot of the music from salsa night and Zumba back home, but while there, that style of music is more of a novelty, here it’s a normal part of the culture.
And I really lucked out last night, because it was also Karaoke night! This was awesome for a couple reasons:
First, I LOVE to sing and the song choices for Karaoke included many songs in English (there were a lot of Beatles hits and some good Maroon 5 too).
Second, this meant that all of the lyrics, to every song, appeared on these big TV screens on the walls, so everyone could sing along.
It didn’t matter that most of the songs were in Spanish, because I had the lyrics right in front of me. In a lot of cases, I finally understood what the song was about.
(My reading skills are significantly better than my listening comprehension)
Gabriella practically had to drag me home at the end of the night. I could have closed the place down (and closing time in Santiago is 5am).
I’m sure this wont be my last latin dance experience in Santiago though. A lot of the women I work with are also really into it, and have told me about some great places downtown to go to practice Salsa, Meringue, Bachata and Cumbia. A couple of them even offered to go with me to some classes, and I am definitely going to take them up on it!