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There’s music on every street corner in Cuba and toddlers learn to dance almost before they can walk, so it makes sense that the country’s National Ballet School is where some of the best ballet dancers in the world are trained – including the Royal Ballet’s Carlos Acosta.
The school is a fiercely protected bastion of Cuban cultural heritage, only opening its doors to a select few visitors. Those privileged enough to visit can spend a few hours at the school and meet some of the 3,000 students, watching as the ever-strict teachers drill them in eye-wateringly quick pirouettes. Ballet is seen as a way out of poverty across Cuba and most dancers choose to stay in Havana after they graduate, moving on to the Cuban National Ballet.
This evening don your glad rags and head to the Grand Theatre of Havana to see some of the best ballerinas in the world take to the stage. Under the Castro regime, the arts were given a huge amount of funding, pushing them to the forefront of Cuban entertainment, meaningthat a night at the ballet is also a chance to people watch the diverse melting pot of Cuban society in one place.