Luz María told us about her career as a dancer and told us that thanks to the revolution black artists like her received more support. We asked her if she ever thought about living in any of the countries she visited and she said no. She said that she fears the unknown, but due to her love of Cuba, she would never live anywhere else. The country she liked most in her travels was Italy and several times she was there with her husband Roberto Gottardi, famous Italian architect. After the revolution, Luz María became the face of Cuba and everyone wanted to photograph her. She worked by doing bodypainting with the painter Wilfredo Lam. She suggested that we look for Lam’s works in the Museum of the Fine Arts.
She also told us about the Grey Quinquennium. We asked her what she thought about Petra von Kant, a play she saw with us. She replied that it was wonderful. She is pleased that there is greater support for sexual diversity in Cuba, because it was very sad that during the Grey Quinquennium there was a lot of violence against homosexuals. She told us that the government forced Ramiro Guerra, director of the dance company to which she belonged, to leave. Ramiro hoped that the other members would resign and defend him, but that was not the case, so according to Luz María, he was very upset.

I enjoyed hearing what an amateur dancer was like and how much pride I felt for that. Today, everything related to cinema, the arts and dance may seem like a competition, so it was nice to hear how its success was spontaneously driven. And how far her career has come from that movie. However, she definitely seemed more interested in her role as a dancer than in what the movie said. Dance has formed a large part of her identity in her life and her way of expression. She was very knowledgeable about all the different types of dance performed in Cuba and seemed to enjoy questions related to these issues much more than with the political message or the representation of the film.

She essentially talked about her career as a dancer and her passion for dance. When we asked her if she could have the opportunity to change something in Cuba, she immediately said the salaries. I found this interesting because this topic was mentioned many times during the trip. She said many were suffering and did not have enough money to support themselves.
We talked with Luz María Reyes (María/Betty) from Soy Cuba. She was just a young woman when the movie was filmed and now she’s about 70 years old. She’s a funny and spirited woman, but I think she’s sad about aging. She didn’t have answers to all of our questions and didn’t remember everything we asked her about the past and I think that made her a little emotional. When Luz talked about the movie, she emphasized how she thought the movie was definitely a Soviet opinion of Cuba. I also had the opportunity to ask her about my essay response about the rights of sex workers and whether María/Betty had control over her life based on what was shown in Soy Cuba. Luz agreed that María/Betty indeed had control over her life and that being a sex worker was a personal choice and she had rights. Finally, something I thought was super interesting is that Luz, an Afro-Cuban, highlighted how the revolution brought about racial equality because the unification broke down society’s divisions racially and economically. In the streets of Havana, I see a lot of interracial couples and a lot of Cubans with dark olive skin, thick curly hair, and green eyes, representing the mixture of ethnicities.