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.
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.
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!
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!