Cuba — to most of us who weren’t around in the 1950s — is a mystery. There are loose assumptions about old cars, Che Guevara shirts, cigars, and voices that recall Cuban actor Desi Arnaz of I Love Lucy. While there are plenty of those old autos, and a plethora of Che shirts being pushed at the tourist spots, Cuba is of course so much more than that. It’s a country of resilient and gracious people who spend their days working and spend their nights strolling the streets of Havana to the sounds of reggaeton, or reflecting on life and love on El Malecon with the Gulf of Mexico as backdrop. I didn’t know what to expect when I stepped on that plane in Miami and walked off when it landed in Cuba, but I do know that it was a lot more than rum and cigars. It was the understanding that sometimes you just have to slow down and cherish the moments. I hope you begin to do just that with these behind-the-scenes images of Misty Copeland’s trip to Cuba.
Brent Lewis is a former Senior Photo Editor of The Undefeated and a lover of all things Chicago except Chicago Mix popcorn. #justcheeseplease