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Salsa Night: Hips Don’t Lie

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Students watch enthusiastically as the instructors teach them how to dance

Packed rooms, excited students, and Latin music headed our Salsa night this past Friday at the Multicultural Center’s Salsa Night which capped the first of our two week Welcome Week events. As The Colombian singer Shakira said, it was “Dance or Die”. Ok, well maybe not that drastic, but there were some hips shaking as the instructors taught the students to dance both Salsa and Bachata.

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Comets know how to shake it like Shakira!

This event has been immensely popular in the past and this year was no exception. People love to dance, regardless of where they hail from. The roots of Latin dance can trace back to many different cultures.  Though undeniably coming to popularity after its creation in the Caribbean, the roots of these dances came from Africa and was brought over via slave trade, which fueled the Caribbean sugar cane islands. Though this fact is avoided even now, much of the rhythmic and musical details of the music and dance are an effect of the African Diaspora. The drums play a very key role in the style of music which is iconic to both Salsa and Bachata.

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Our Resident Salsa expert, Ana Girón Vives, and our Marketing guru Tanya Trisna

On the lighter side, students enjoyed Salsa Night by taking advantage of the opportunity to take a break from their studies and to meet other students through the most transcendental medium of culture that is dance. We even had our resident expert in salsa music Ana Girón Vives, who had claimed to be unable to dance, get out on the dance floor and bust out some moves!

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Students showing off what they’ve learned

Overall the night was extremely successful with about 275 students attending. The lessons lasted about an hour with the following hour allotted for the students to put to practice what they had learned with the latest Salsa and Bachata hits, as well as the classics by artists such as Celia Cruz and Elvis Crespo. If you enjoyed learning about Latin Dance come celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with us! On October 1st we will be playing a documentary entitled “Tango Negro” covering the effect of the African Diaspora on Tango in the Jonsson Performance Hall at 7:30 p.m. We had a blast dancing with you guys and we hope to see you come out to our future events!

 

 

 

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Come dance with us next time!

Juneteenth Celebration: Summer Breeze

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It was a hot day on June 19th for our annual celebration of Juneteenth here at UT Dallas. As noted by our own Cornel Walton, “It was not a day for pants.” But with that being said, we invited the campus to come and make themselves comfortable as we commemorated the definitive end to slavery here in Texas.

Juneteenth is a holiday which marks the historical day, June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops arrived on the island of Galveston, Texas, to take possession of the state and enforce the emancipation of its slaves. This was roughly two and a half years after the original abolition of slavery during Abraham Lincoln’s announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation which took effect January 1st, 1863.

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Asian Heritage Celebration!

Why do we bother celebrating our heritage? And why should we celebrate Asian heritage? 

The term “Asian” here encompasses all countries in the Asian continent. With Asia being the largest and most populous continent in the world, therein lie a vast number of cultures, ethnic groups and histories. Celebrating one’s culture is to celebrate oneself. No matter where you were born, your heritage always lies within you. At our university, with such a diverse student population, students are exposed to diverse cultures daily. Events like the Asian Heritage Celebration expose students to aspects of those cultures that they may not experience in the classroom.

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Lunar New Year Celebration!

The weather during the first week of February was predicted to be cold, but it was a warm day on Wednesday, February 6th; perhaps because of the Lunar New Year Celebration that was happening here at UT Dallas. Around 3 PM in the Visitor Center Atrium, were groups of people setting up sound system, moving chairs and tables, and hanging decorations.  The crowd of onlookers slowly increased the closer it got to 5 PM and everybody was quickly trying to get everything ready.  There were young ladies wearing their traditional dresses, others at game booths, and some walking around the stage area. At the same time, volunteers were working hard to check in guests and hand out raffle tickets.  It was one hectic time crunch.

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Behind the scenes of the MLK Breakfast

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January 24th, 2013, had to be one of the most exciting events I have ever been a part of and participated in. There were so many people waiting to come inside and observe what was going to be taking place. As a MPA for the Multicultural Center, I hadn’t seen an event this hectic since the Salsa Night for Hispanic Heritage Month last semester. Salsa Night was the first event that I worked on campus as a Multicultural Peer Advocate and, preparing for the breakfast brought me flashbacks. I mean, who knew that I would be so nervous to see how the event I worked on was going to turnout.

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The HLF in Review!

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We often confuse a leader as someone who gives commands because we believe they have power over everyone else.  Are these truly the characteristics of a leader?  What exactly is a leader?  What makes someone a great leader and what exactly do they possess?  All these questions and more were answered at the Hispanic Leadership Forum on Friday, January 23.

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