Jaza's World Trip

Huayno dancing class

Huayno is a traditional Quechuan style of music and of dance in the Cusco area. The music has a lot of guitar and high-pitched singing, and the dance has a lot of foot-stamping and stiff-leggedness. This afternoon, Abram — who conducted a salsa lesson with us last Friday — taught us Amigos students this strange, difficult, and surprisingly tiring dance. Good bit of fun for a Friday afternoon, but it seems more like a stand-up comic routine than an actual, romantic folk dance.

A lot of the steps in Huayno (that's what we thought too — why no indeed? :P) involve having your left leg completely rigid, while bending and stamping with your right foot. When you do this really fast, it gets quite awkward, as well as tiring. I swear, the guy who invented Huayno must have had a wooden left leg, because the dance is perfectly designed for such a person.

Anyway, we started by learning and practicing the basic steps individually — as we did with salsa last week — and then trying out the dance in boy-girl pairs. Fortunately, we ended up being about equal, gender-wise, this week. I can think of better dances to do with a pretty girl; but hey, I guess that when in Rome, you gotta know what the Roman girls know; if you know what I mean.

Filed in: CuscoBizarreDanceJust for funQuechua