#ChantsInCuba: Day 5 -- Basketball Clinics and Salsa
HAVANA, Cuba - The Coastal Carolina University men's basketball team spent their fifth day in Cuba earning their salsa dancing certifications, conducting a children's basketball clinic and traveling from Havana to Veradero. In addition, head coach Cliff Ellis along with assistants Benny Moss and Stacey Palmore directed a coaching clinic with Cuban university coaches prior to leaving Havana.
The day started with breakfast at the Parque Central Hotel for the student-athletes before departing for the second salsa lesson. Once at the lesson the team and several support staff members continued to lean the art of the salsa dance and build upon the basic steps learned during Sunday's lesson. After the instructors were finished teaching the Chanticleers, the team surprised the instructors and taught them popular American hip-hop dances.
The salsa instructors handed each participant a certificate to verify their salsa dancing prowess along with naming the top dancers on the team. Tristian Curtis, a native of the Bahamas, was named the top student in the class, followed by Josh Coleman and Ron Trapps. Mrs. Caroline Ellis was honored as the top female participant.
After lunch, the Coastal Carolina travel party went to an outdoor court steps away from Revolutionary Square in downtown Havana to conduct their children's basketball clinic. After opening announcements by coach Ellis, the nearly 40 children were split into four groups. Once in the groups the student-athletes demonstrated several basketball drills, then the children tried the drills themselves.
At the conclusion of the clinic the student-athletes and coaches distributed basketballs along with Coastal Carolina t-shirts, hats and Chauncey trading cards. In addition, several student-athletes handed out baseballs courtesy of head baseball coach Gary Gilmore and the Chanticleer baseball program to the children in attendance.
Today the salsa lesson was amazing, it was actually our second day of salsa lessons. Today we polished up what we were taught on the first day of salsa class. The Cuban salsa dancers were beautiful and extremely fun to work with. We began with stretching then moved on to some complex salsa dancing.
We finished the class showing the Cuban dancers a few of America's most popular dances, including the Dougie, Whip and Nae Nae. Since they were professional dancers they caught on very fast; the class quickly turned into something similar to a night at Broadway at the Beach.
I am extremely blessed for the opportunity to visit Cuba and to be able to immerse myself in different cultures and sounds. Hopefully this will not be my last trip to Cuba.
Thanks for reading and Go Chants.
In my fifth day in Cuba, I got to teach and have fun with Cuban children at a basketball clinic. The children here love the game of basketball. They really seemed to enjoy learning the steps, moves and basics of playing basketball -- passing, dribbling, and shooting.
The kids caught on to the drills quickly in the group I worked with. I was around giving them high fives and helping them at times when it was hard for them to understand the drills. It was unfortunate that it rained 45 minutes into the clinic.
Teaching Cuban kids the game of basketball made me feel great and hopefully they felt the same way. It puts a smile on my face to give to the less fortunate people, who I found to be very nice and chill, an opportunity that they will never forget.
I hope in the future to visit Havana again and all the wonderful children and people I've met.
May all be blessed in life and everything given and achieved.