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“¡Baila!” continues Latinx Heritage Month events with traditional dances

Feba George | The Ticker

One of the many events of this month dedicated to Latinx Heritage was ¡Baila! which took place on Sept. 12. This Latinx Dance workshop included clubs such as Ecuadorian Club and Latin American Student Organization.

Instructors Justin Gonzalez and Justine Rodriguez taught students the Bachata, Salsa and Merengue. Students followed their directions individually and were then paired up to try the moves they learned with different partners.

Afterwards, students socialized as they ate traditional Latino food, rice with chicken, and continued to dance on the open dance floor.

“I love the nostalgia you get with the music, you feel the music, and you feel the history- you feel connected to it,” said instructor Gonzalez  when asked what he loved most about these different dances.

“The Latinx community as a whole is very passionate, you can even say romantic and dancing is a way to express yourself not only to you significant other but it’s a way to have fun with friends and family,” said Paul Romo the vice president of LASO.

When asked why she came to the event, Baruch College student Katerin Velasquez responded “well the event is called ¡Baila! which in Spanish means to dance which I love to do. Dance is part of our culture because when we come together in a celebration that’s what we do. You know other people are learning it but that’s what we grew up with.”

Another student of Mexican background, Josman Garcia, came to the event to learn how to dance better. He commented that “Spanish music has a lot of Afro-centric background, you see a lot of that in the movement, a lot of hip swinging.”

The two instructors agreed students seem to enjoy the social aspect of this event the most.

Garcia validated this when he stated his favorite part of the event was “meeting new people and dancing to different genres of music.”

Gregory Antoine, a student of Haitian background, enjoyed identifying differences between Latin/Hispanic dances and his own cultural dances such as the varying physical proximity of dancing partners.

As instructor Gonzalez said, “dancing brings every culture and every types of people into this one little melting pot of fun.”

¡Baila! was a great event that brought students from different ethnicities together to share in the experience of learning more about Latinx culture.

It brought back childhood memories for the students and professional dancers alike, while also showing non-Hispanic students more about the culture as a whole.

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