See a Peruvian Prison Seized with Dance Fever as They Try to Break a Guinness World Record

Imagine the trailer for this Hollywood movie:

(Shots of muscular, heavily tattooed gang-bangers glowering, fighting, smoking pot, and enjoying super-hot twice-weekly conjugal visits) 

“In a hellish, overstuffed maximum security prison in Peru…”

(Close up of Vin Diesel or Vin Diesel-type wiping away a tear as he bids goodbye to a neatly dressed, bespectacled teenage girl)

 “One man will do whatever it takes to win the respect of his daughter…”

 (Cut to Vin in a colorful, coordinated outfit, leading hundreds of fellow inmates in an aerobics class as they attempt to break a Guinness World Record)

No doubt it would be godawful. That’s not to say convicted kidnapper Alejandro Nuñez del Arco’s story isn’t inspiring in the original.

Colonel Tomas Garay, who greenlighted del Arco’s Full Body aerobics class back in November, is pleased by the changes in attitude he’s noticed at Lurigancho, “a branch of hell” where drugs, alcohol, and violence were previously the norm. Although the sport, a cardiovascular workout combining dance, boxing, and Tae Bo was invented by a Peruvian man, macho inmates were standoffish at first. A mere eight attended del Arco’s first class. By June 14, the date he attempted to best the Philippines’ Cebu Prison’s world record for the most people dancing behind bars, at least 1179 of his fellow inmates were raging with dance fever. Talk about transformative effects…

Hopefully not coming soon to a theater near you, unless it’s as an expansion of the five-minute documentary above.

Related Content:

Tilda Swinton and Barry White Lead 1500 People in Dance-Along to Honor Roger Ebert

Prisoners Dance to Michael Jackson Tunes in the Philippines

Ayun Halliday can zumba with the best of ’em. Follow her @AyunHalliday


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