But the dance kind of salsa.
The OU Latin Dance Club hosted the annual Havana Nights Salsa Ball, and it was a blast. The night started with an informal dance lesson to teach the amateurs the basic steps of salsa and bachata. After the hour of step-by-step instructions, the ballroom floor opened for anyone brave enough to show off their moves.
Naturally, the Latinos took over the floor. And it was pretty intimidating. But I had a couple dance partners throughout the night that kept a moderate pace…and now we’re pretty good pals. Aron from Spain admitted it was his first night dancing salsa, but a little confidence goes a long way. He started taking more lessons and promised we’d dance again.
Of course, there were the Colombians who dance salsa and bachata in their sleep. Sebastian and Daniel were a blast to dance with. They knew the fancy moves and could twirl you around and dip you back at the end of a song.
The dancing shows a lot about the Latin American culture. It is intimate, and you make yourself vulnerable to your partner. The man leads, the woman follows, and it works out smoothly (almost) every time. Focusing on your hips and your turns takes your mind off the rest of the world for a bit, and brings you into the songs length amount of time you have with your partner.
The University of Oklahoma Foreign Film Club (FFC) is proof that all you need is Netflix and some good buddies (the pizza is a bonus) to open your eyes to the wonders of ~international films~
Other countries are pretty explicit about their current states, whether it shines a negative or positive light on their home. We Americans like to romanticize the heck outta our issues.
Kite Runner was brutally raw. It was hard to watch; it made me sick. But it showed the reality of some of the major issues in Afghanistan.
The FFC is a group of folks who, after watching a movie like Kite Runner, wants to discuss the film and its influence.
An American film tends to be pretty different. We like to focus on romance, portraying an unrealistic image of what love should be. We mock the important issues, “comedicize” what needs to be taken seriously and expect a happy ending. Not to say that there isn’t something artistic about the common American film, but they typically cannot be taken seriously.
The unoppressed emotion, the raw truth, and the blunt actualities are brought forth in foreign films. Other countries use film as a way to depict what is unspoken within a society, be it negative or positive.
Slate.com gives American news like Americans give international news, and boy, do we look ridiculous.
“Why Retreats for Moms Are a Terrible Idea” was an article that was intriguing, and the portrayal of American mothers is brutally accurate.
To be a mom here is to be put in exclusive parenting isolation. Moms only talk to moms and discuss motherhood. They get no escape, even the mommy retreats are bringing mothers into further isolation with one another. And why are American parents so unhappy?
There is further criticism on the structure surrounding mothers, especially pregnant women, and the systematic discrimination against them. Because of this lack of accommodation, women often feel marginalized into being their own, mommy community.
Other countries give more liberty to mothers, extending maternity leave and affordable childcare. Mothers shouldn’t feel the need to resort to their own community as their sole source of support because all are equally stress and overwhelmed at different times.
The way this article describes this issue sounds almost satirical, like The Onion articles share fictional news. This news, however, is real. This means that either our country is more outlandish than we thought, or that we portray other nations in a demeaning manner.
The Colombian Student Association put on an End of the Year Latin Party. Now, let me tell you about my history with Latin dancing.
In high school, I took a few classes through my Spanish program on salsa. In a room of gringos, I wasn’t all that bad.
When I went to a party with a group of Latinos a few weeks ago, the music was pumpin and dancing was mandatory. I suppose I overestimated my abilities. “You’re using too much of your legs!” “Keep your core firm!” “Just make a figure eight with your hips!” After that night, I stood in front of the mirror for hours over the next couple weeks practicing just moving my hips the right way.
So here I am, at the Fiesta Latina, and everyone was dancing. Not the stiff “grinding” you see at the American parties, but these fluid and cohesive movements, it was intimate and passionate in a sense. Ha, there was no way I could do that.
But I didn’t have a choice. Alexander, a friend that I met at the salsa class earlier in the year, had taken my hand and twirling me around and laughing at my stiffness at the same time. But I was getting the hip thing down, let me tell ya.
Events like this make me fall in love with the Latino culture even more. Dancing involves emotion, you can feel it. It is a part of the culture everyone knows. You can go to anyone and know they will be able to salsa, merengue, etc. Here, we are stuck with the line dancing and the awkward swaying.
I originally wanted to steer away from a post of this topic, mainly because there are aspects of Catholicism that are stigmatized for their positions on homosexuality. And I’m Catholic. But I wouldn’t be engaging in the global community of I left out a certain group, and maybe it is necessary to clear up some stigma along the way.
I want to say this: I stand by the Catholic Church on everything. I am not anti-gay. Yes, this is very possible. Actually, this is how Catholicism is taught. I am not anti-gay because I am not to judge based on an uncontrollable characteristic. I am not anti-gay because I do not marginalize any population. I am not anti-gay because homosexuals are just as much human as I am. I am, however, against homosexual marriage because I believe marriage is for unity and procreation between a man and a woman, and that man and woman were created as perfect compliments to one another.
With that said, I would like to comment on a Ted Talk given by Jenni Chang and Lisa Dazols, who went around the world in search for “super-gays.” These are people who embrace their sexuality and have made progress in the LGBT communities on a worldwide scale. I think it is important to promote a global acceptance of LGBT people. However, I think it is important to not shame countries who do not support same-sex marriage. Until 1970, the definition of marriage was exclusively between man and woman, and many will still argue that that definition should still hold true. This isn’t an issue of marriage equality, but a definition of what marriage is according to some. For example, a Christians and Jews will say that marriage is between a man and a woman because that is how it has been defined for thousands of years, dating back to Genesis, a book that has outlived any other. There isn’t ignorance in this either, because there is, throughout the entire Old Testament, many teachings on marriage, all regarding the relationship between man and woman. So to say that a Christian is against marriage “equality” isn’t quite fair, because his definition of marriage, for thousands of years, has been between man and woman. The purpose of this argument is to ensure not to condemn countries, especially more religious ones, for being “homophobic,” and to provide an understanding of the conservative nations.