A dozen Ramapo students showed up to learn how to salsa dance in the H-Wing Auditorium this past Thursday. Some students were already familiar with Latin dancing; some had even been latin dance competitors in their earlier days. There were also plenty of students who had no experience on the dance floor.
The College Programming Board organized the Latin Dance lesson. On-campus programmers Brittany Schroeder and Max Ziegerman, both juniors, took charge of the event.
Salsa dancing originated in Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo (Cuba). The music is a mix of Afro-Cuban dance and Cuban Son. Son is a style of music in Cuba that features Spanish guitar and African rhythms. Salsa clubs are also scattered around New York City, so going to the lessons provided more options for a Saturday night in the future.
Several students showed up early outside the door of the auditorium waiting for the event to begin. Sophomore Alexis Giglio came with a friend to the event hoping to learn some Latin dance.
Giglio said, “I found a poster and that’s how I saw this event and actually, I wanted to do Latin dancing because I am supposed to go to the Merengue event also.”
The event began with a bit of a show from the two hosts who are professional Latin dancers. They performed two types of dances, one of them being the jive. The partners danced extremely well together and put on quite a show.
“The couple [the professional dancers], they were here in the fall and we really liked what they did and we wanted to have them back,” Schroeder said.
The audience loved the instructors’ show as much as they loved their lessons. The male instructor revealed that he didn’t always want to be a dancer. However, after taking a dance class in college at Rutgers, he then became a professional Latin dancer.
The two instructors first taught students and girls their separate duties in the salsa dance and then joined them together to practice. Every guy danced with every girl as the guys rotated in a circle to practice the newly taught moves with their partners.
Everyone was very eager to learn the moves precisely and quickly because at the end of the event there was a “salsa competition.” Whoever danced the best and seemed to learn the most out of the evening won two tickets to this year’s Spring Concert featuring Big Sean.
The Latin Dance event was a success and brought tons of smiles to those who showed up, including the instructors. Bringing cultural events and activities to Ramapo has been important for the College Programing Board.
“We try to do different things for different students, like we do UFC and many cultural things as well,” said Ziegerman. “This was a good opportunity for dancing.”