Cuba’s “Grandparent’s Discos”

Jorge Milanes Despaigne

The Aragon Orchestra

HAVANA TIMES — I recently heard about “Discoabuelos”, an activity which as the name implies is a space where older adults can go to move their bones, dance, unwind, like when they were younger.

Alamar’s Discoabuelo, which is run by the Cuban Artex company at the En Guanyabera Cultural Center, takes place every Tuesday from 12-4 PM, in this center’s party room.

Even though the activity was conceived for older adults, anyone over the age of 18 can come, paying the affordable price of 50 Cuban pesos (CUP), while it only costs grandparents 10 CUP (1 USD= 20 CUP).

Today is Tuesday and I’m at the Discoabuelo. There’s a nice atmosphere and over 300 people, mostly elderly people, are dancing to the beat of Cha Cha Cha, performed by La Aragon, a popular Cuban orchestra who created this internationally famous rhythm.

From where I was standing, I could clearly watch the elegance of these people who remembered their younger days drinking, listening to music and dancing, and forgetting their physical aches and pains, for a few hours at least.

Somebody invited me to dance and I told them I had no idea how to, however, I decided to dance without losing sight of how some grandparents danced elegantly, slowly relaxing as a result of drinking and dancing.

When I told my dance partner this, she responded that she was a psychologist at an old person’s home which one of the groups of invited grandparents had come from.

“Why are you worrying? We have a skilled medical team here if anything happens,” she said.

This new piece of information is important, because knowing that there are medics and specialists among these grandparents helps me to relax.

The Orchestra’s Caribbean rhythm heats things up, as is to be expected. Grandparents brim with happiness to the point that they need to ask the medical team to help several of them who have already gone from elegance to out of control. 

The fun continues… They can’t help themselves and others fall down under the natural effects of uncontrolled alcohol drinking, but happy.

3 thoughts on “Cuba’s “Grandparent’s Discos”

  • My mother-in-laws glass is “topped up to the brim” with her 200 pesos per month pension. How positive can you be?

  • Carlyle: Sorry but ARTEX is part of the Ministry of Culture and has nothing to do with GASEA. Even so, is it not a bit of a stretch to link this to senior citizens having fun dancing?

    Some people fall into the “glass being half full vs. half empty” category. You are in the “my glass is not topped up to the brim” category. If there anything that fails to cause you negativity?

  • Who controls ARTEX? Why GAESA of course!
    Jorge writes:
    “anyone over the age of 18 can come paying the affordable price of 50 Cuban pesos (CUP) while it only costs grandparents 10 CUP (1 USD = 20 CUP)”
    20 CUP equals almost one tenth of average monthly income and 10 CUP Is one twentieth of the monthly pension. Normal practice by ARTEX is to retain entry charges and margins on sale of drinks and food. The musicians are usually dependent upon tips and sales of CDs

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