14 June 2008

My work here is done.

As of Friday, June 13, 2008, I feel that I have wholly and completely fulfilled my role as an Ambassadorial Scholar for the United States of America. How did I manage to complete such an amazing feat, do you ask? By introducing one of the U.S.'s most iconic and beloved dance contributions to the people of New Zealand. I can proudly say that I, Sarah Price, taught and got an entire restaurant dancing THE MACARENA.

It all started as a typical night at Taqueria Poblano, the lone Mexican-esque eatery existing in Dunedin. Come 8:30p.m., the place transforms from a slightly overpriced purveyor of pseudo burritos and kiwi-ized chimichangas to a pulsating Latin dance party, thanks to the marketing skills of my incredible dance teacher, Alfonso. Salsa, bachata, meringue, reggaeton--you name it, it's gonna be played, as long as it's latin and SPICY. It is without a doubt my favorite night of the week, and this Friday was no exception.

Things had been going along swimmingly as usual; following the well-attended free Salsa class for newbies at the beginning of the night, the dance floor was crowded with Salseros of varying levels but equal enthusiasm. After dancing my legs into the floor for a solid hour and a half, I had just sat down to take a water break and enjoy the scene when I heard it. Da da da da-duh Heeeeeeeeeeyyyyaaaayyyyyy-ooooooooh---instantly I recognized that infamous wail and those 80s-esque, electronic synth backbeats.

I leapt to my feet immediately, grabbing my friend and fellow American Rachel mid-sentence and dragged her to the middle of the dance floor. Regressing to our past lives as thirteen year-olds, back when Macrena mania was sweeping the nation, we both sprang into action, performing those genius arm motions immovably ingrained in the minds of all our generation like there was no tomorrow.

Up to this point pretty much everyone else had stopped their salsa-ing and had been absently drifting away from the dance floor. But then they noticed these two crazy girls doing some sort of choreographed "dance" to the obnoxiously catchy song blaring from the speakers. Soon the crowd had regathered around Rachel and I, their inquisitive Kiwi faces furrowed with a mixture of bewilderment and intrigue. "Come on guys, it's easy! Just watch!" I shouted to the onlookers.

One by one, the crowd began to copy us; haltingly at first, then with increasing confidence as the Macrena's mind-numbing repetitiveness began exerting its hypnotic effects. Soon the entire floor was filled with jubilant Kiwis, thrilled with their powers of basic coordination and recall, stepping and motioning and hip swirling with all the enthusiam of sugar-buzzed pre-teens at a middle school dance. And Rachel and I were right in the thick of it, leading the pack until that very last, slightly screamy "owwwwuh" sound reverberated through the air. The best part of all though--everyone actually clapped afterwards.

That, my friends, is what it truly means to be an ambassador of culture, and no doubt will remain one of my fondest, and proudest memories of my time in New Zealand :P!

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Pics coming soon!