As a dancer, I write about the most recent challenge I am working on. Ironically, it is more emotionally than physically challenging. Personally, having experienced quite a few loses, has brought a lot of retrospective realizations. There is an upcoming performance my team and I working to a very emotional piece by La Lupe, whom thanks to my personal struggle, has me quite intrigued. There is so much emotion in this woman’s voice, pain and hunger that I identify with. I am truly enjoying having to dig deep and give myself permission to feel all the things my body wants me to feel, shamelessly. Often, I try to embody the same energy Lupes vocals give, on the dance floor and with my dance partner. The universe has given me permission to use this as an opportunity to heal from this very hard moment. There is nothing more desired and controversial in my life than the balance of a romantic partnership and by far, nothing more frustrating than loving someone that does not understand you.
La Lupe was very connected to her African roots and was also a well-known Santera. I admirably gaze at videos where she gave herself to her music, moved freely, took off her clothes, yelled, screamed, freely on stage. This coming up Congress in February 2022, we are to debut Que Te Pedi. Her voice has inspired me to dedicate every practice leading up to it permitting me to dance in the present. It seems like Lupe and I agree that we need to feel connected in what we do and feel the passion from everything and everyone we get into. Her voice depicts a self-inflicted emotion that is constantly perpetuated by the familiar lack of love in our lives and within ourselves.
As I continue to heal and learn how to love, I am also learning from those who came before me. The goal is to heal in the ways that those who were not able to, or even learn the ways that they have. At the end of Lupe’s life, I realized that she probably was never ever able to learn how to overcome her personal traumas or know how to set healthy boundaries. Thus, her life ended too early and her experiences were intense and repetitive cycles. When Lupe passed, she was young, broke, and to this day, barely anyone knows about her significant contributions to the creation of salsa music. Her struggles with romantic partners seemed intensely rhythmic and thrived in toxic, addictive cycles. However, at the end of the day, La Lupe just wanted what everyone else wants, to love and be loved.