Chapter 6: Dominican Dance Floor

My time in the Dominican Republic was characterized by a strong attraction to the country’s sensual and dynamic Caribbean culture as well as by a deep sadness caused by multiple violations and abuses. Nowhere was this contradiction more alive than on the dance floor. Swaying on a crowded dance floor surrounded by a throng of people caught up in the music was, for me, the quintessential Dominican experience. The emotions I felt as I was shut out of this experience were heart-wrenching. In “Dominican Dance Floor” I attempt to capture the paradox of a culture that filled me with joy while simultaneously denigrating me. The essay drags multiple examples of the aggressive anti-African attitudes I discovered in the Dominican Republic onto the dance floor. “Dominican Dance Floor” floods the reader with details that document the devastation of encountering a culture that both intrigued and rejected me.