religious experience

Tom Levy

  Some people who take dance classes regularly have a saying: “Dance is my church.”

Dancer Stella Adelman says just that about going to Afro-Cuban folkloric dance class. “There’s a release to it,” she says. To her, it’s a place where she can reflect and find some clarity through movement. To some practitioners this clarity comes from being active and getting exercise, for others, it’s literally a spiritual practice.  

The Bay Area is home to many instructors of Afro-Cuban rhythms. Music and dance lovers come from all over the world to participate in workshops taught by some of the most loved teachers and dancers from the Cuban Diaspora. Many of them have found home here.

KALW's community storytelling project Hear Here has been asking Oakland and San Francisco residents about meaningful places in their neighborhood. KALW's Alyssa Kapnik chose her place, a church, because she used to pass it on her way to the BART station. Since Kapnik is  from a totally different faith – she's Jewish – she wondered what it would be like to experience religion and God from such a different perspective. Fully aware that she’d be an outsider, she decided to go one recent Sunday, and she was the only white person in the entire congregation.