Photo: Mexico City Culture Secretariat


Sunday, Aug. 28, was Mexico’s National Day for the Elderly, and while many of the country’s 12 million-plus over-60 citizens suffer from a barrage of health limitations such as diabetes, hypertension and glaucoma, a large segment of the gray-is-beautiful set turned out at the capital’s iconic Monumento de la Revolución to strut their stuff and show that they still had what it takes in the danzón department.

In a gala dance-the-night-away festival sponsored by the Mexico City Culture Secretariat, more than 5,000 nothing’s-gonna-keep-me-down seniors tripped the light fantastic to the romantic sounds of Felipe Urbán y su Danzonera, Danzonera Isora Club and Danzonera Anáhuac.

Danzón, a type of synchronized, stylized ballroom dance with emphatic pauses and a definitive romantic air performed to slow Latin rhythms, first began in Cuba, rooted in colonial times and fused from a blend of habanera two-step, European waltz and African cadence.

But in Mexico, it has been a vital part of urban culture for more than two centuries, especially in Veracruz, Oaxaca and Mexico City, where every weekend hundreds of danzón enthusiasts gather in plazas and salons to show off their moves, decked out in elaborate wardrobes reminiscent of the 1940s.


Leave a Reply