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Fabio Rodolfo Vásquez y su esposa María Moreno se conocieron bailando hace 30 años. Photo: Associated Press
Fabio Rodolfo Vásquez and his wife, Maria Moreno, met dancing 30 years ago. Photo: Associated Press

Dancers cause a sensation in Guatemala, but the real "sensation" is their story

When the Vasquezes entered the "Covi Dance" competition, they did it to shake off the pain and get glory. 

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Fabio Rodolfo Vasquez and his wife Maria Moreno have dancing in their blood, all kinds of dance, from salsa to cumbia. They even met each other while dancing. More than 30 years ago, their love sparked when they won a dance challenge in Guatemala City.

So, when the shoemakers for 50 years heard about a dance competition in times of pandemic — the "Covi Dance 2020" — the idea participating was enticing. 

However, they were gripped by doubts as well as by grief. Would it be a good idea? Their daughter Jenifer, 32 years old, had died in June as a result of kidney failure and the couple meditated a lot on their daughter's memory. But something had to be done to get out of the sadness that was devouring them and adding to their sense of isolation. 

"I wanted us to sign up to get out of this depression and the feeling of being caged in by the pandemic," Vasquez told the Associated Press. "And to cope with the pain we're feeling."

Because their daughter loved to watch them dance, they ended up cheering and filming themselves moving to the rhythm of "Dangers" from The Flirts.

They never suspected they would win the competition. 

"Our daughter must be happy to see us happy," Vasquez said. "She supported us... She always told us to do the things we enjoyed most."

Now the couple is dancing non-stop. Their videos have gone viral across the country and are being replicated by many people who have been inspired by the their generosity as well as their incredible dance steps. 

So much so, that some businesses and individuals have been willing to lend a hand to the Vasquezes and they've receive all sorts of gifts to sustain themselves, such as milk and food. 

"We are not making money or asking for anything, but if people want to give us something from the heart, I accept it from the bottom of my heart," he said. "In this pandemic, you have to accept everything from the heart because these things come from God," the dancer said.

"My father always said that music cheers up the spirit and makes you feel young," Vasquez concluded. 

So far, there are more than 92,000 cases of COVID-19 in Guatemala (data from Oct. 2) and 3,261 deaths. In addition, there are numerous caravans of Honduran migrants that have recently arrived in the country for the United States during really difficult times. 

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