Radikal Readings: Dancing with Cuba


I’ve read a number of books on the Cuban revolution, but never one like this. Dancing with Cuba is a memoir by journalist Alma Guillermoprieto about the six months she spent teaching dance in Havana in 1970. I’ve read Guillermoprieto’s journalistic work and remembered her memoir was sitting on my bookshelf soon after the United States’ change in diplomatic relations with Cuba.

If you’re looking for a book about the revolution specifically, this isn’t it, however, her introspective views on Cuban life and the revolution are very interesting. This is a memoir through-and-through with self pity and the trials of a 21 year old woman on display. It is brutally honest and Guillermoprieto’s courage to write the things that others wouldn’t is admirable. There were some bits that as a non-trained dancer were a bit hard to follow, but they are few.

Guillermoprieto is a wonderful writer and gives a glimpse into the lives of artists in a country that was swept up in politics and ideologies.

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