The Whole World Danced Casino in Havana

The Whole World Danced Casino in Havana
Fecha de publicación: 
3 June 2024
Imagen principal: 

“I came to Havana to participate in the largest casino dance in the world,” confessed in Spanish a young Chinese man who declares himself in love with Cuban music and has his own academy in the Asian giant:

"I am very happy to take my students to dance with the people of Cuba and other countries, I am very happy."

He introduces himself as Fido to Spanish speakers, and the school he founded and runs eight years ago is called Mapa salsero. It has 500 students who are already learning to dance casino. He is convinced that dancing “in life is very good, for health, for everything.”

At the university in Begin, he received a class on salsa, there he learned about these rhythms and later came to Cuba to study a semester of Cuban dance at ISA: salsa, chachachá, mambo, rumba, orishas... Since then, he has returned to Cuba many times. From the beautiful city of Bruges, in Belgium, Ann Buylaert and Filip Somers traveled to Cuba last month to dance casino.

They opened, 12 years ago, an academy to teach salsa dancing. They bring Cuban music to the Belgian streets with the support of the government and maintain excellent relations with our diplomatic headquarters in Brussels. In fact, they tell us that it was the Cuban ambassador who summoned them and encouraged them to come.

With Ann and Filip we communicated in that “slow English”, which those of us who are not skilled with languages managed to understand, but it was enough to know that they brought 14 dancers to Havana, that the Salsa Academy in Bruges is identified by three colors, the same of the Cuban flag, and that they are delighted with this country because “the people are happy and live the dance.”

Inder Romero is a deputy to the National Assembly in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela: “I am the only casino representative,” he states proudly, and tells us:

“At university, my leadership among students began precisely by teaching casino classes, since my group, Humanities with Swing, became the only documented casino dance experience made up of deaf people: more than half of each casino group are deaf

“That led us to represent Venezuela on several occasions at international events within the country, special education congresses and all that. That social work grew, it became involved with other things within the student struggle, and today I am a deputy to the Assembly.”

Devoted deputy and passionate casino fan, so...

“When I heard about a crazy Cuban who was walking around saying that he was interested in the casino scene in Venezuela and that there were many academies, that he wanted to bring them together and all that, of course I looked for a way to meet him and I got involved in the project. We then founded Retomando el son, currently I’m vice president of the project. The Guinness Record was achieved in Venezuela on November 17, 2022 and then, of course, when we talk about son music and we talk about the casino dance, we are talking about Cuba, so how can we not promote this phenomenon here: get to know each other, recognize each other among the casino dancers, the son music performers, among those of us who like this art and, of course, register Cuba, as the mother of son music, as the mother of casino dance, with a world record.

“This time it was the casino dance world record, but we are working hard to, within the framework of the 505th anniversary of Havana, break the Guinness Record of Venezuela here in Havana,” announced Inder, who in addition to “have a few moves”, he sees a superior opportunity in these activities:

“The opportunity for our people to meet even more. Bolívar said: I am complete where one of my parts is. Later Martí quoted Bolívar there in Caracas, so, feeling Bolivarian, I say that when we talk about the son music, when we talk about the casino, we mean the whole Cuba.”

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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