Transformative Travel: Visting Madrid and Experiencing Dance
Updated: Oct 29
Let me start by saying this blog post differs from a typical Madrid travel guide. Wait, don't click away!
I aim to share some of my genuine Madrid experiences on this blog so you can create your own meaningful travel memories.
I will include some of the places I went to and what I did so you can have a starting point if you're visiting Madrid. However, I want to share the connections I made and the beautiful things that came from those connections.
So, if you're the type of traveler who wants to check many things off their to-do list, there may be a better post for you.
If you like to travel slowly and want to travel not just for the sites but for the impact travel can make on you, this is the post for you.
Connecting to Dance Culture in Madrid
I've been living in Spain for almost 4 years now.
I arrived in 2019 with insufficient clothes stuffed in a medium-sized suitcase, a duffle bag, and a backpack.
Madrid was my first introduction to Spain. The narrow streets were busy. Its vintage architecture is charming. But our love affair wouldn't really begin until years later.
When I moved to Spain, I lived in Cartagena, then Jaen. Madrid was always a transit place. I'd only go to the capital city when I needed to return to the States.
But Madrid became more than an entrance and exit point early this year. It became where I reunited with my long-lost love of tap dance.
The class was taught in Spanish with students from Spain and Europe. It was great seeing an American dance form travel across the seas and into a new country where it has charmed the hearts and feet of so many different people.
Well, it does make some sense since Tap does have Irish influences.
Travel Tip: If you're interested in taking flamenco classes in Madrid, Amor de Dios, is a place to go. The studio is located right above or right below Mecardo Anton Martin, which is a fun food market with a variety of local and international cuisines.
We squeezed into this table and sat on short, slightly wobbly bar stools just a few steps from the bar. While filling our wooden table with small plates of tapas, half-empty beer, and wine glasses, we told each other our dance history. And I learned that Madrid and many parts of Europe have a big Lindy hop community.
I thought how beautiful this city and its people have opened their culture to share and embrace a style of dance that came from African Americans.
There is more to that conversation of acknowledging the roots of Lindy Hop, but I'll save that for another blog post.
Lindy Hop in the park
My second time visiting Madrid this year was in August.
Travel Tip: August is a weird time to travel in Spain. It's the time of the year when many Spaniards take their vacation and practically live at the beach. So if you travel during this time, you might run into a few closed shops and not too many events.
Upon meeting my friend for the second time, we found each other in the Metro, only a wrong turn away from losing one another.
The Metro is a very reliable and easy way to get around Madrid.
We spent the day at the community pool. ( coming in and out of the water)
We met another friend, and as we sat on the grass, our conversations took us to a level of consciousness, thoughtfulness, and laughter; we could have had our own show.
After the pool closed, we continued our conversation about dance, and as we walked, my friend gave me the phone and pressed it up against my ear. I tried to understand this music. Understand it so I could dance to it, not just hear it.
When we reached the edge of a park with first floors and benches, my friends asked me, " Do you mind being weird for a minute." I happily agreed.
We sat on the bench as she began showing me the basic steps of Lindy Hop.
A serendipitous moment of dance, dogs running past us, sniffing us and running away, and older couples smiling and waving.
We stayed until the sun went down and were dancing under street lights.
And thus ends the story of the magic of Madrid, where you never know where the day might take you.
If you enjoyed this travel story, you can check out more travel stories in my ebook.
If you want to hear more about Madrid, stay tuned for part 2.