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Caribbean Coast Dance - Entertainment Bluefields - Nicaragua

Nicaraguans are a people of dance. The Pacific Coast is salsa territory; in the center of the country and to the north you'll find cowboy-style quebraditas. But it's along the Caribbean coast where reggae is king and where residents shake their hips to calypso, punta and soca. As with much of Central America, local music has evolved through an eclectic mix of African, European and indigenous influences.

To see local dancing at its wildest, try to visit Bluefields in the spring. During the month of May, the city celebrates with concerts, street parties, neighborhood maypoles and dance competitions in each barrio. Each neighborhood forms a group of at least 60 dancers for the competitions; in the past, top contenders for the city-wide honor have been Barrio Beholdeen and Cotton Tree.

The May celebrations are also when residents prove themselves as dancers. You’ll be able to find small groups performing across Bluefields. Some of the most well-known local figures include: Wanda Lee Morgan, Merida Obando, Donald Benard, Francis Ellis and the single-named dancers Papo and Doko.

While you’re visiting, you might also want to check out Ethnic Expansion, Bluefields Indian, Caribbean University Ballet Co. or Erupción Caribeña. All of the groups hold performances of regional dances, so inquire about dates.

If you're visiting the area during the fall, head north of Bluefields to Orinoco. On November 19th, indigenous residents celebrate Garifuna Day with tribal dances such as: Punta, Punta Rock, Punta-Punta Palacio, Conga and Yau Kuno (the war dance).

To bust a move beside the locals, and practice some of the steps you've been seeing, try stopping in at one of the dimly lit but breezy clubs that line the coast. Some options include Cima Club and 4 Brothers in Bluefields, Drop Draws in Pearl Lagoon, Anastasia and Sapo on the Corn Islands or Jumbo and Malecón in Bilwi.

Bluefields, Nicaragua

Entertainment Types:
Folkloric dance

By Alvaro Vergara

I'm originally from Colombia and from Nicaragua's Caribbean coast. I'm happy to share local expertise and insight into all the...

23 Sep 2008

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