True story – I insulted the Colombian singer Carlos Vives and didn’t even realize it.
When I first moved to Miami – like day 3 – GAD and I were taking Lolita out for a walk and there was a man singing behind us. GAD said to me, “that’s Carlos Vives behind us.” I was totally infatuated with CV at the time and so I thought he was kidding, “Carlos Vives sings much better than that.” CV could clearly hear me because he started singing more loudly. GAD tried to convince me to talk to him but I just didn’t believe him. Once CV passed us and stood in the valet line outside a nearby restaurant, I was horrified. It was him!
I had missed my opportunity to meet a major Colombian rock star!
Why would this matter to a white girl from Conroe? To say that I have been initiated in the ways of Colombia over the past ten years is an understatement. I know that people in Bogota eat ajiaco while most others eat sancocho. I know about the differences between dancing vallenato, cumbia, and salsa. Most importantly, I know that the people of Colombia are still forced to live in the shadow of the drug cartel despite the fact that Cartegena is one of the most glamorous beach destinations in the world and that there has been a major push in urban development in the past 30 years.
This week is all about Latin music for me as I prepare for a night of food and dancing with my friends and I can’t help but be a little bit sentimental over my past life as a Latin dance instructor and the hundreds of hours of salsa dancing I have done in my day. The mental escape and physical exhaustion that it brings can not be duplicated on a treadmill or elliptical. And though now it is difficult to start a Thursday night’s entertainment at 10:30 like it was ten years ago, I still love it.
Here I am going to share some clips of Carlos Vives as an apology for my actions. Please forgive me!
You need to go about 2 mins in – “Gota Frita” with Shakira
Just for fun – this is a picture that was published in the NYTimes of me salsa dancing at Lincoln Center. Don’t laugh!