One afternoon we went to Anny’s sister’s dance studio and gym in Santiago. We first got traditional dance lessons from Anny’s sister and then the legendary Hector Pavez came to teach us quechua, the oldest, most famous type of Chilean dance. Supposedly some tribes dance quechua for three days straight without food or water during celebrations. We learned some really strange dances from Anny’s sister and then when Hector Pavez came we got down to business. He is the son of one of Chile’s most famous musicians and is a great musician himself. We all got in a circle around him and without saying anything he just started dancing, drifting from side to side and sliding his feet on the ground. We all realized tat we were supposed to follow so we did our best to keep up. Whenever someone screwed up he would look at them, wag his finger and without saying anything just start doing it the right way himself. Hahaha he was a cool guy. After we got the basics down out came the handkerchiefs. In quechua, both the man and woman wave handkerchiefs around while they’re dancing. We all thought it was kind of funny but Hector did not at all. I don’t think he smiled once. He was so into dancing! After our lesson he played us some songs on his guitar and some of the other students bought his cd.
To nights later we went out to a quechua restaurant with Anny. She made a reservation for ten thirty and about ten of us went to check it out. We got some appetizers and drinks and watched people dance quechua. It was two goofy and complicated for me to try to do it but Ian was pretty drunk and he went for it. It was hysterical, he and Anny dancing together waving handkerchiefs around. It was a cool experience to see this kind of traditional Chilean dancing and I’m definitely glad I went to the restaurant and was lucky enough to meet Hector Pavez.