Milli Stephania, Photography, Travels

Cuba: Tropicana Cabaret

tropicana, tropicana cabaret, cabaret, cuba, cuban cabaretSince Tanya never made her flight last night, it was time to celebrate her birthday in style today… and all she wanted to to was go to the infamous Tropicana!

Tropicana is the most famous nightclub in Cuba. Many famous artists have performed there, like Nat King Cole, Celia Cruz, Josephine Baker and others. It´s been around sine 1939 and is the purest definition of a lavish lifestyle. The club is right in the middle of a forest, so were surrounded by trees, and the lights peeking through the leaves. cabaret, tropicana

  I’ve recently been watching “Celia” on Netflix, and let me just say.. where I walked in, I felt like I walked in where history was being made, But before we get on the show, I’ll start off with this, the girls looked absolutely beautiful. Olivia wore a nude off the shoulder collared shirt, looking cute with her Cinderella choker, ,while the birthday girl was looking stunning, with her brown pencil flared skirt and her Diana Ross hair. When I walked downstairs, I never felt more beautiful. I was wearing a gold dress, and when I stepped outside Jovani’s face was in shock. I was no longer the bummy girl he picked up at the airport. His comment, “Te ves mas bella cada día mas que te veo” made me blush. I greeted him with a kiss on the cheek and he carried on with opening the door for us ladies.

We arrived at the cabaret and was greeted at the door with a beautiful woman dressed in her colorful poofy dress and glittery eye shadow. If that was anything close to what we were getting into, we were excited. The waiter kindly addressed us to our table, and we had wonderful, up close seating. The stage rises, we were served champagne, another toast. We decided to get dinner as well. The show was absolutely spectacular. I don’t even think I can find the words. The costume changes, the musical numbers, the dancing, the orchestra, the performance was worth the steep price, every single second of it. It was so worth it. When the show was ending the performers started to pick people out of the audience to join them, Olivia and I made our way to the stage and danced salsa with handsome men in their bright colorful attire. The mc shouted out Tanya, and the whole cabaret proceeded to sing her happy birthday, he pulled her on stage and more dancing was done, a lot of dancing. Her big poofy hair was looking  a lot like Diana Ross in that element. 

 Time to hit spot number two. I wanted to keep dancing, and the original plan was to go to La Fabrica de Arte Cubana, a music venue for up and coming singers. Unfortunately it was closed for the night. Jovani asked if we wanted to go somewhere else instead and we arrived at La Casa de la Música. He again, asked us to check out the ambiance of the environment and if we liked it, we would stay and he would wait for us when we were ready. I asked him to join us inside, instead of waiting for us and doing nothing but talking to other taxistas. He gave a small smirk and agreed. 

 Anacaona was a band full of women, strong beautiful women. Their interaction with the audience included asking the men “cuanto de los hombres aquí han dicio una mentira?” (How many of the men here have told a lie?) The crowd goes crazy. I order a mojito and make my way to the table. The music was just what I needed. I get up and dance, I never needed any help or instruction for that. Jovani joins me and he asks me if I know how to dance Salsa. “I know how to dance New York salsa, I don’t know if Cuban salsa will be the same.” Anyone who is a New Yorker will know, that this kind of salsa, is more fast paced, a bit more sloppy and way more free spirited. We call it street salsa. We dance and it’s pretty obvious we were in the same rhythm, our bodies just flowed together. Some guy comes up to me and asks me to dance, we have absolutely no rhythm together. He feels offbeat, and I hate that I was a originally dancing with Tanya to such a great song, and he whisked me away. The song was ruined for me. He keeps telling me to follow his lead, but his lead is so bad. I struggle to follow in his footsteps, and he swears what he´s doing is right, has attitude was more known it all then anything. order mojitos for the table, while walking back ¨cocky salsa guy¨taps me n the shoulder, and gestured for me to look at him. To look at how he dances with another girl so I can learn. I roll my eyes we all make another toast in celebration of Tanya. The girls are wanting to leave soon, so I take advantage and Jovani asks me to dance one lady’s time. We killed it, he´s spinning me around and we both look good doing it.¨Annoying guy who swears he can dance¨ catches us dancing and his face was priceless.

Like Oh shit, she got moves.¨That’s right I do. 

He comes over to our table and asks Olivia to dance, she says no. He looks over at Tanya and kinda dismisses her like..nah…