there's a very small rock-n-roll subculture in the dominican republic. you probably wouldn't know it with the merengue and bachata at full blast all.the.time. but there is.
you can catch glimpses - a teenager with a skull&crossbones leather band on their wrist, a geeky kid in vintage tee-shirt and buddy holly glasses - but mostly the culture is homogenous. different is, well, different. and even more so than in the states, anything out of the normal social boundaries is frowned upon.
so, saturday night we were invited to a singer/songwriter competition by one of amalio's coworkers. a free night out? sure. we didn't really have high expectations since the "inviter" isn't such a great singer and we expected more of the same, but a night out is a night out, right?
what a surprise! the room was filled with such a bizarro mix of people - from those rockers to reggaetoneros (similar to rap, but worse) to all of the spanish teachers dressed in suits and ties.
there were some very old people, who i can only imagine were the parents of the rockstars, and a lot of small children. we, of course, were in the very back - those old people at a show for kids - with our kids running around, drinking insane amounts of soda.
the music ranged from rock to romantic ballads to bachata and most was pretty good. there were some christian musicians, too. at the end, when the judges were meeting a typical merengue band took the stage along with a group of bachateros - the two main music groups of the dominican republic.
and that's when things got interesting.
you see, americans have a reputation for not dancing. and for not knowing how to dance. i'm not talking about hip-hop, shake your butt dancing or white-boy club dancing. i mean real dancing. boy-girl-one-two-three-one-two-three dancing. spins and dips and twirls and fancy footwork dancing. and it's true. americans don't dance. it's a lost art form. and much less will you see punkrockers and rap stars break out their dancing shoes with their parents.
and that's just what happened. this really absurd group of people started dancing. suit&tie teacher with rockandroll princess. old mom with 14 year old son. real dancing. no jumping around, no head shaking butt wiggling movements. dancing. one-two-three turn, twirl... fancy dancing.
it's one of the many things that i love about this country.
now, if only i could get amalio to get off his butt and dance more often, we'd be doing something.