This article explores dance as a cultural resource that ensures mobility and allows Cubans involved in the dance scene to pursue personal and professional goals. It examines how mobilities contribute to reshaping attitudes about work, dance, and dance-as-work on the island, as embodied practices become inscribed in widely circulating imaginaries. Hopes about (successful) international dance careers emerge at the intersection of different types of mobilities, as Cubans perform multiple roles in their encounters with dancing tourists. As a result, dancers’ possibilities of adaptation become further resources of professionalization either in Cuba or abroad, reconfiguring local salsa scenes in the process.
The research for this article has been conducted as part of two research projects funded by the National Science Centre, Poland, number 2017/25/N/HS3/00315 and number 2019/32/T/HS3/00379, and during a research stay at the Ibero-American Institute in Berlin from November 2019 to April 2020.