Inside a Cuban Dance School

Photo Feature by Elio Delgado Valdes

HAVANA TIMES — The teaching of modern and folklore dance began being formally taught in 1965. Since then dance schools were established in almost all Cuban provinces.

It is from these learning centers that the island’s many modern, contemporary and folklore and Spanish dance troupes draw their talent.

This photo feature shows part of the activity at the Alejo Carpentier dance school located at 19 and L Streets in Havana’s Vedado district.

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3 thoughts on “Inside a Cuban Dance School

  • A football coach oversees an athletic program which likely brings in millions of dollars to the institution. While the coach’s value to society in comparison to the dean of the same university is debatable in terms of lives impacted, etc., the earnings the coach collects are MARKET-driven. The Castro GOVERNMENT has decided the relative value of a cabaret dancer in comparison to a physician. The two are very different situations.

  • Well that happens every where .. In Unites States of America a professional or in some cases collage football couch earns way more money than doctors or even the same dean at the collage they work at…

  • The importance of dance in Cuba can not be overstated.One of my good friends in Cuba is a dermatologist and her daughter dances in the cabaret La Parisien inside the National Hotel. My friend, who has been a doctor for 25 years earns around 22 cuc per month. She is among the highest paid at her hospital as she is head of a disease and burn unit. However, she works 6 days a week and 10 hours per day and is always on call. Her daughter, on the other hand, works 5 days a week for 8 hours a day and makes close to 80 cuc per month. Anyone who has spent any time in Cuba is well aware that when a proud mother brags that her child will become a doctor, few Cubans are impressed. But when a mother can say that her child dances with the so-and-so dance company, others ooh and ahh. My American sensibilities are always surprised by this inversion, until I remind myself that like my country, Cubans are only responding to their economic interests. As long as the Castros run a system that values dancers over doctors and reflects this valuation in the respective salaries they receive, this lopsided logic will persist.

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