“Let’s go out dancing,” she beams, her big brown eyes unavoidable. As my day is ending, hers is starting. I can feel her energy and it’s rubs off on me. “Sure, but I’m warning you, I can’t dance,” I warn. Laughing at me like I’d made a joke, she guides her feet into her shiny black heels, without second-guessing the height of the heels.
We walk into Casablabla, a local bar, and I’m transported to a far away land somewhere in between Morocco and Turkey. Trinkets and treasures, the kind you pick up on the road in your travels, colour the walls making it an eclectic mixture and feast for my eyes. Welcomed with meditative tranquil music, my heart slows down to match the mood.
“Drink?” my friend prompts. And just as fast as I nod my head, 5 women belly dancers and a man with nothing but a straw dress on runs past us. A tribal, drum-hitting celebration commences. Able to predict the sheer variety of ways I can humiliate myself in seemingly endless ways, my body programmed into freeze-mode.
Sensing my hesitation, my friend hands me a drink. “This will make you feel better.” I watch the belly dancers move in ways I can’t imagine, I wait for the liquid goodness to loosen my statue-like pose. Twenty minutes and two generous mojitos later, my body starts to sway to the beat of a drum, before I realised I was doing it.
Like it had a mind of it’s own, my body succumb to the nearby cheers and began my journey a night of exotic moving to the sounds of the planet. I didn’t just dance to the music; I became a part of it. Not only am I learning to dance, but how to operate out of my comfort zone. Before I can rest too long, my friend pulls me back into her world. For a second I think how Colombians are the kindest and warmest people, unless you’re trying to get away with not dancing, that is.