Tag Archives: Dancing

jesus jive

when i’m in church here, i miss liturgy. when i’m in church in the states, i’ll miss this…

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i’m a professional dancer

and no, i don’t mean salsa.

it’s time to update my resume to include my latest “job.” the day before heading to ghana, i was filmed dancing with ashley and charita for a beninoise christian music video. ummm, yeah. we had rehearsed 3 or 4 times with our choreographer, tusin. the first was definitely the most difficult… learning to move our shoulders and hips like all our african friends. i was so sore the following day! but mathieu assogba (the musician) is such a fan of our wanna-be-african gyrations that he’s actually asked us to dance in 8 (yes 8!) music videos. i pretty much put my foot down and said 1 is enough, but i may do one more just so our friend joanna (who couldn’t make the filming after all those hours of practice!) can be on african national television too. see… one of the channels in benin is all music videos, all the time. there’s a certain cadence to the variety: first an american song (usually a bad one), then a christian song, then a traditional song, then a beninoise rap, then a song against corruption… then the cycle begins again. so yeah. that’ll be us… dancin’ on the christian slot. dancing is a way of life here, a form of expression, really. you cannot go to church and sit still.

to be honest, mathieu is using us to break into the american and eurpoean market… and we’re using him to have dvd of proof that we really are “famous” professional dancers in benin. poor mathieu is getting the short end of the stick.

props to rob for being our “manager.”

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vodun dancing

okay… here’s some video i took at the vodun fete… if it works!

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jesus loves salsa

my first weekend in benin… back in august… i went out with my first expat friends (i’ll confess i was a little freaked out by them at the time, not knowing how to bridge the local/expat gap, but now i’m so grateful for their friendship!) anyway, we went to some bar with live music, and about half the songs the band played were salsa, and lots of people were dancing. now, since it was my first weekend here, and i was not yet sure how dancing was culturally perceived, i just stood back and watched… but i must say, i was very excited to get a glimpse of the salsa sub-culture.

well now i think it’s safe to say i’m part of said sub-culture. (anne marie would be so proud!) after hearing a rumor about salsa lessons at hotel du port on friday nights, we got a small group together (melissa, maureen, kim, rhett, collin and me) to check it out. before heading out, i told madeleine (one of my african mamas) of our plans for the night… she smiled and said (in french), “salsa is the dance of Jesus!”

oh, yes, Jesus loves salsa.

we had a blast. it was so much fun that maureen and i hit the streets to buy shoes. i mean that pretty literally. we actually bought heels from hawkers on the streets. think goodwill times 100. i wish i had pictures.

melissa and rhett and i went back for more on sunday night. i think we’re all learning pretty fast, and everyone already knows us (we kinda stand out… and not because of our talent!)

and as if the salsa wasn’t enough of a reason to hit hotel du port on fridays and sundays, there is the added bonus that not one guy there has asked for our numbers yet. it’s the classiest place i’ve found in cotonou! i think this will be very good for my mental health. and physical health… salsa is good exercise! more thoughts on divine work outs later…

in the mean time, if you love Jesus, you might just love salsa too. and if you love salsa, you’re in good company.

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