By: Becca Hurliman
Let me explain.
Potrero is a small town. I knew that before I came here, but my rural upbringing had me well-prepared for quiet days and even quieter evenings. The mornings start early (and so end the days) but the plaza is generally calm except for game days or when local or national festivities call for some celebrating. Tranquilo is the best way to describe it.
It’s tranquilo, but it’s also full of life. Houses are blue, turquoise, green. The tile floors are orange. There are always bikes and motorcycles in the street. Always chatter coming from somewhere, or a boisterous conversation erupting in laughter from a front porch at night. Women lean out of their windows to visit with friends who are passing by. The men gather outside of the supers or near the soccer field, and their conversations seem to never be without some joking. We’ve lived a lot these past few months.
And we’ve danced.
Oh, how we’ve danced.
We’ve danced to celebrate the end of a session and to celebrate our mothers. I’ve seen the girls dance their Bollywood routine numerous times, but I’ve also seen them learn Israeli dancing. I’ve joined in for line-dancing lessons. I’ve observed a line of 8 to 13 year old boys dance to all the popular songs – something I would never witness in the U.S. – and I’ve watched a line of girls dance to a drumline.
I would say that dancing is a way of life here, that it is learned as soon as walking. The way people move here is as natural as breathing, perhaps, and it’s only a really good time when there’s dancing.
They’ve taught me how to salsa.
Next week, I’m teaching them step.