I’ve never been much of a dancer. That’s not to say that I can’t dance, or don’t enjoy dancing. It’s just that unlike Patrick, I won’t be winning any gas station dance-offs any time soon. (That’s a story for another day.)
In an effort to fix this, I had hoped to up my dance game along my 2020 travels throughout the Caribbean. Instead of frequenting nightclubs, though, my plan was to take lessons in a few of my home region’s distinctive dance styles.
Alas, 2020 had other plans for all of us, eh?
Grenada To The Rescue!
Somehow, our friends in Grenada must’ve been reading my mind because they just released this great new beginner bélé dance lessons video!
Bélé is probably most closely associated with Martinique, but the beautiful dance and drum-heavy music is rooted in cultural traditions throughout the Caribbean. This is most evident everywhere that the French flag ever flew in the West Indies. This includes the Guadeloupe Islands and Haiti, of course. Bélé, though, is also big in English islands that were French long ago. Places like Saint Lucia, Dominica, and, yes, Grenada.
The exact origins of bélé are not known 100%, but it’s said that the folk dance may be the Caribbean’s oldest Creole dance form. Strong echoes of African fertility dances are clearly evident in the flirty and beautifully suggestive movements. There’s nothing bawdy or outrageous about bélé dancing, though.
I guess you can think of it as more of a sophisticated danze de seducción..?
Either way, I plan to start on my bélé dance lessons now ahead of hopefully revisiting Grenada next year to fully put them on display.
Care to dance with me…?