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That Time Noelia Had a Rough Night

One night Sebastián and Mariana were supposed to perform with Noelia and Carlitos. They were supposed to have dinner, but Noelia and Carlitos did not come out of their hotel room. Sebastián heard loud talking and crying.

They waited. Nothing.


Eventually Carlitos comes downstairs with his face set and grim and pulls out a cigarette and smokes it and says nothing.

Still no Noelia.

Finally she comes out and her face looks like a punching bag: all red and inflamed and swollen and she has obviously been crying for hours. She says nothing. They all get in the car and drive to the dance and nobody says a word.

They go out there and perform. "Now, you know Noelia, she is usually so vibrant and full of life, such a happy dancer, she exudes sexuality," Sebastián said. "But that night, she was like a zombie. I had never seen her like that. She could barely move, she was like lead. No adornos. No nothing."

"So afterward, I sat her down, and I said, 'Girl, we've been friends for a long time. I've known you since you were sixteen. But more than that, I'm twelve years older than you. I know something about life. So come on: tell me what's going on."

She looked up at him with sore red glum eyes. "My grandmother died," she said.

That's what makes an artist, Sebastián said. You have to dance through all that and come out the other side. Anybody can dance when they're happy. But dancing to celebrate death: that's when we grow.

You have to dance through all kinds of times and all kinds of situations. That's what makes an artist.