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Amateur groups represent a unique opportunity for those who, in addition to pursuing a university degree, feel the need to devote their free time to something that goes beyond what can be termed a hobby. Amateur groups provide an incentive for the personal fulfillment of individuals who consider they have something more they can offer the world. Dance, theater, music, humor, pantomime…these groups embrace all manifestations of performing arts. Sometimes, these amateur performers end up as professional artists. One example comes to mind: Alina Sánchez, outstanding soprano who started out her career as an amateur singer while studying in the university to possibly become the best “Cecilia”—leading role of the most famous Cuban zarzuela, Cecilia Valdés—ever.
Entalpía is a contemporary dance group from the University of Havana. The group was founded eight years ago and began with only four members from the Faculty of Biology. Today, the troupe has 17 members from different faculties, which is different from other amateur groups whose members hail always from the same school. Unlike its early years, Entalpía now has a permanent place for rehearsals and is supported by the University authorities after having been constituted as an institutional group.
Its repertoire has grown over the years producing up to four choreographies every year. They perform regularly at university activities and as guest dancers with other companies, such as Danza Voluminosa. The group has won prizes for best original choreographies and silver and gold medals for two consecutive years at national university festivals.
Although these student/dancers have a million things to do, not the least study, Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights are sacred for rehearsals. What is special about Entalpía, however, is the spirit that permeates its members, who claim they are a great family that grows day by day.