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To the Heart of Dance in Cuba

Executive produced by Melissa Mansfield, this short documentary takes the audience on an immersive journey into the powerful folkloric roots of dance culture in Cuba.

A film screening event featuring Cuban dance and music

Immersion at Conjunto Folklórico (Ch.1) | To the Heart of Dance in Cuba with Melissa Mansfield
Dance & Spirituality in the Everyday (Ch. 2) | To the Heart of Dance in Cuba with Melissa Mansfield
The Eternal Spirit of Dance (Ch. 4)  | To the Heart of Dance in Cuba with Melissa Mansfield
Past, Present & Future (Ch. 3)  | To the Heart of Dance in Cuba with Melissa Mansfield

To the Heart of Dance in Cuba explores dance as integral to Cuban culture, spirituality and family life.


Through Melissa's own immersion as a dance student at Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba and through interviews with dance experts of all generations, the film delves into Cuban dance as a locus for daily religious practice, the preservation of cultural traditions, and the evolution of a powerful art form. 

Co-produced with and filmed pre-pandemic in 2020, a 4-part episodic serires was released online in 2021. The full short documentary will be screened in-person in NYC in early 2022.

About the Film

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Cuba Dance Doc_Visual plate_color.00_00_

About the Event

The film screening event will celebrate Cuban dancers and local musicians in NYC who embody the spirit of dance presented in the film.

Tentative lineup:

  • To the Heart of Dance in Cuba film screening and Q&A about dance immersion in Havana, current status of travel to Cuba, and ways to help Cubans on the island post-pandemic.

  • Dance performance by Cuban dancers living in NYC that represent the evolution of dance illustrated in the film, from Afro-Cuban folkloric to popular dances such as son and cha cha and to present-day timba and casino.

  • Live or DJ music for open dancing for the audience!


The goal of the event is to cultivate appreciation for the folkloric roots of Cuban dance and to celebrate the gifts of Cuban dance and music - together. 

All events will require attendees to show proof

of vaccination against Covid-19

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Film & photography credit for To the Heart of Dance in Cuba footage and images on this page: Matthew Heymann and James Rosser Berry of

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