Dancing with Emilie
Memories of Emilie’s visits are flooding me this week. Some of those memories include my family since she was immersed in our lives for a week every year for almost two decades.
One year early on, we all got into a conversation sitting around our family room about Emilie’s Vaudville history and Haiti and all that is rhythmic. My husband Carlos is Cuban born and one of the loves we share is his music and dance. So Carlos put on a new mambo CD and I suggested that he show Emilie some mambo. She threw back her head and laughed, and then hopped to her feet to meet him.
There was not a moment of new partner awkwardness between them. Their movements were hot and fast and fluid and rhythmic in ways I had never seen before. In all my years of watching Carlos dance, and dancing with him myself, this had never occurred. It was as though the Spirit of Caribbean Movement entered the two of them simultaneously and took off with them. I can still see them – Emilie in her bare feet and tall Carlos in his socks – making the carpet smoke they were moving so rapidly and seamlessly together. Dancing with the Stars has nothing on what I got to watch that evening.
I think it lasted about five minutes and when it was over they were both breathless. I was in awe. They grinned and sat back down as though it was nothing. Ha!