Dance Class in Cuba: La Compañia Rakatan practices at the local municipal theater.

On Tuesday morning we arrived at this ballet school in Havana to watch a group of young women rehearsing.  The surrounding neighborhood gave no indication of what we would find inside. It was about 80 degrees outside, and only a little cooler in the darkened theater.
This is the apartment building on the left as we entered the Teatro Municipal de Marianao.

We arrived in the middle of rehearsal.  Some of the beautiful old seats are broken, the ceiling is clearly leaking, but the dancers are stunning. 
Rehearsing on stage, with the lights off and the windows open to keep things cool. 

The theater is dark, but still quite warm inside.  The dancers work without music, only following the voice of their teacher.
While the women practiced on stage, some men were dancing in a small classroom upstairs. 
Focused and graceful on stage.  Note the sneakers.

I was a little surprised to see a few of the women in shorts, not what you think ballerinas wear.  They use what they have.
At the door to the theater, even the dog is a dancer.
If you have workout gear, dance shoes, or anything appropriate you would like to donate to these women, send me an email at and I will give you an address.

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