Island of Music
“Cuba is the island of music,” says Rafael Noa, the lead singer for a café band in Havana. With centuries of artistic influences from all around the Atlantic, the world of Cuban music swings far above its weight. The Cuban government’s guarantee of free education for all means that anyone can pursue the arts if they have the dream and the drive.
At the Cuban National School of Ballet, high school-age students rehearse complex ballet routines downstairs while a class of ten-year-old girls do practice drills upstairs in the giant converted mansion that houses the academy.
“Every time that I dance I am giving my performance to all the people of my country,” says 14-year-old Kaila Suarez, who attends the ballet academy. National pride is a huge factor for students interested in the arts.