Dancers at the Tropicana Club in Havana, Cuba get ready backstage before a performance. These particular dancers have made it through the Tropicana Club year-long dance school, and will be allowed to dance in a special graduation-night show on the club's main stage.  Not until after the show will they know if they are invited back to join the Tropicana Club dance troupe. 2005

 

Havana’s Tropicana Club started in 1939 and in the seventy years since has hosted such luminaries as Nat King Cole, Carmen Miranda and Josephine Baker. Every year, the club holds tryouts and thousands of young men and women from throughout the country audition for a place in the Club’s dance school. Those who successfully complete the month-long training are given a part in the cabaret.

 

A Cuban woman is assessed for flexebility in a dance studio at the Tropicana Club in Havana, Cuba during open-call tryouts for the club's dance school. Hundreds of hopefuls from all over the country attend the annual open call, and are judged and eliminated based on their bodies, flexibility, experience and rhythm. Only 30 or so will be admitted, and of those only a handful will be invited to join the Tropicana Club dance troupe. 2005

 

Havana’s Tropicana Club started in 1939 and in the seventy years since has hosted such luminaries as Nat King Cole, Carmen Miranda and Josephine Baker. Every year, the club holds tryouts and thousands of young men and women from throughout the country audition for a place in the Club’s dance school. Those who successfully complete the month-long training are given a part in the cabaret.

 

Maria de la Caridad Penalver does the splits on the floor of her family house in Havana, Cuba while her mother (left) and sister look on.  She is a student at the Tropicana Club dance school where young men and women are trained in the cabaret style of dance for a year, and the best are invited to join the Tropicana Club dance troupe. 2005

 

Havana’s Tropicana Club started in 1939 and in the seventy years since has hosted such luminaries as Nat King Cole, Carmen Miranda and Josephine Baker. Every year, the club holds tryouts and thousands of young men and women from throughout the country audition for a place in the Club’s dance school. Those who successfully complete the month-long training are given a part in the cabaret.

 

The Tropicana Club in Havana, Cuba runs a dance school where young men and women are trained in the cabaret style of dance for a year.  The best dancers in the class are invited to join the Tropicana Club dance troupe. The students, from all over Cuba, train for 4-8 hours, 5 days a week. 2005

 

Havana’s Tropicana Club started in 1939 and in the seventy years since has hosted such luminaries as Nat King Cole, Carmen Miranda and Josephine Baker. Every year, the club holds tryouts and thousands of young men and women from throughout the country audition for a place in the Club’s dance school. Those who successfully complete the month-long training are given a part in the cabaret.

 

A make up artist readies a Tropicana Club dancer before a show in Havana, Cuba. 2005

 

Havana’s Tropicana Club started in 1939 and in the seventy years since has hosted such luminaries as Nat King Cole, Carmen Miranda and Josephine Baker. Every year, the club holds tryouts and thousands of young men and women from throughout the country audition for a place in the Club’s dance school. Those who successfully complete the month-long training are given a part in the cabaret.

 

Dancers at the Tropicana Club in Havana, Cuba wait backstage during a performance. 2005

 

Havana’s Tropicana Club started in 1939 and in the seventy years since has hosted such luminaries as Nat King Cole, Carmen Miranda and Josephine Baker. Every year, the club holds tryouts and thousands of young men and women from throughout the country audition for a place in the Club’s dance school. Those who successfully complete the month-long training are given a part in the cabaret.