Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Students dance the night away

Walking into the Grand Palm Room, you would think it was just another night at the Copacabana, with the bellowing of the conga drums and the Afro-Caribbean beat creating a resonance with the radiant stars above. On Thursday, Oct 10 at 7p.m., Student Government Program Board presented its first “Salsa Under the Stars.”

Maracas and pií±atas were placed everywhere. On the tables were fiber optic blue lamps with silver streamers bursting outward, resembling shooting stars. Red, yellow, blue, and orange lights spangled the ceiling, and the otherwise dark and bare room was transmogriphied into a multi-colored sea of stars.

“At night we have nice, open skies in Florida, to dance under the stars. It makes me think of how Hispanic families usually get together and gather outside in the porch, and the lights are strung up, and above in the sky, you can see the stars,” said Program Board Concert Chair Erika Terrosa, who organized the event.

Student Government’s Program Board was responsible for organizing the event as one of its new initiatives for bringing together students in a fun social setting.

Terrosa said, “It was time we had some Spanish music on campus. What better way than a party? That way everybody who likes to dance or wants to learn how to dance can have fun.”

The event was conceived as part of the celebration of Hispanic Heritage month.

“We decided to have it in conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Food Festival Day, with the idea of introducing students to Hispanic culture,” said Cultural Chair Coordinator Reina Ray.

The celebration began as students took the dance floor and flowed to the beat of the music played by DJ Cristian Caro. Dancing was indeed the only thing on many people’s minds.

Freshman Victor Ramos said, “I just want to dance, dance, dance, sweat, and keep on dancing some more after that.”

The climax of the event came when instructors from Latin Beat Studios, a professional dance academy, presented a demonstration of salsa moves. Attendees gathered in a circle as the dancers created a moving circle themselves, performing the very impressive “rueda.”

“Rueda originated during the fifties in Havana, Cuba, at a family resort/country club called ‘Casino Deportivo.’ It basically started when a couple of dancers experimented with combining basic steps and synchronizing them, and later naming them one by one. They were able to create choreography in the shape of a circle or wheel (Rueda). Subsequently, the name Rueda Del Casino or Casino was born,” said Gabriel Gí_mez, director of Latin Beat Dance Studios.

After the presentation, instructors gave students an introductory lesson in the basic steps of salsa. As people lined up in rows, the instructors led them in following the steps, among which was the “stepping on the cucaracha.”

“Salsa’s sexy,” Ray said. “Everyone wants to learn how to dance salsa.”

Students were excited about learning the “right moves” for different reasons.

Graduate student Timothy Masters said, “We’re both learning how to dance. We’re having our wedding in Peru, so we want to make sure we learn how to dance well.”

In the end, everyone who attended the event enjoyed the music and the cultural experience.

“I think it’s great that so many people from every race and culture have shown up here tonight as a way of embracing the Hispanic culture,” Student Body President Pablo Paez said. “We need to bring all the cultures together and focus on the similarities we have, instead of on the differences.”

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