At around 2:30, the Afro-Latinx maestras started introducing us to the traditions of bomba (Puerto Rico) and son jarocho (Veracruz, Mexico). We learned about their origins, and what areas of the US you could join communities that could start you on the path of practicing them: But most importantly, at around 2:45, people stepped out of their comfort zones, pulled the chairs against the walls, and started following the maestras as they moved into the realms of practice. We all know that music is an universal language, and this workshop couldn’t have exemplified it best. Children, elder, youth, adults, all turned in synchrony with our maestras, and starting first with our hands on our backs, we learned the basic steps, moving forward and backwards as we followed the rhythm of the drums. At some point we were able to release our hands from our backs, and started clapping. It personally reminded me a bit of some movements from south of Spain, where clapping is essential to mark the rhythm of the dance.
At first you see mostly adults and children more motivated to follow the maestras: I can see other live bloggers writing timidly on the edges of the space, and other UW students following the rhythm slowly, without entering fully into the experience. Our class professors seem to cheer us, as they are on the first line involving themselves completely. But music as an universal language like we commented, and as magical as it is draws you in, as if you were entering a cold lake: First your feet, then your stomach, and then all of you at once!