Dance as Politics







:: Excerpts from “Listening to Salsa” by Frances Aparcio


   Salsa dancing… represents a social encounter


While commercialization has definitely resulted in the production of trivial lyrics and in part has allowed salsa to become an object of passive listening or mere distraction, this music transcends reification by maintaining direct interaction with its audience and

with the Latina/o community.


…for many Latinos and Latinas in the United States dancing symbolizes the recuperation of a national space and locus in the historical disseminations that migrations have represented.

                                                               Courtesy of Wesleyan University Press



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:: The Voice of a Working-class



…the voice of a working-class U.S. Puerto Rican woman from Detroit expresses the clearly conscious desire to act politically through dancing to Latin music:


"I like to go to dances, yes, I like music at dances. The last dance that I went to was The Gran Combo's, and I liked it. . . . Yeah, it was nice! I was raised, yes . . . here in the U.S. But I was raised I in a Latino environment. The food I eat is Latin, my music is Latin, my; surroundings are Latin. So ... I am Latina and since I was small I always loved that environment . . . and I won't give it up now nor when I get older. . . . dancing is part of my identity.”

(Excerpt from “Listening to Salsa” by Frances Aparicio)





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