Students came together in UIndy Hall to learn how to dance the salsa and bachata on Sept. 14. The event was hosted by the Student Organization of Latinos, which focuses on expressing and sharing their culture with the campus.
The event was open to all students and also offered Lecture/Performance credit. In addition to dancing, food and drinks such as chips and salsa and Jarritos, a popular soft drink in Mexico, were provided.
Dance Instructor George Vandeveer started the night with line dancing, so each person could learn the basic steps of the salsa.
As the dancers grew more familiar with the steps, he transitioned into partner dancing.
Salsa dancing originated in eastern Cuba and is one of the most popular styles of dancing in Hispanic and Latino communities today.
After the salsa, Vandeveer taught the bachata. For the bachata, attendees started with line dancing but then transitioned into partner dancing.
The bachata began in the Dominican Republic and was brought to the United States and became popular during the 1990s, according to bachatabrno.com.
Sophomore exercise science major Estelle Wroblewski attended the event to help her make new friends.
“I just transferred to UIndy and dancing with SOL was my first ever L/P event,” Wroblewski said. “It was a fun first experience and a nice way to meet new people.”
Sophomore exercise science major Christa Parkes also attended the event. She said she was familiar with the salsa, but the bachata was new to her.
“I was looking for LP credits online and saw the salsa dancing and decided to go to it because it sounded interesting,” Parkes said.
SOL has hosted this event since 2012, but this year was one of the organization’s biggest turnouts, with 130 students attending, compared to the 30 or 40 students who have come together in previous years, according to junior archaeology and human biology double major and SOL’s vice-president Andrea Aguilar Kcomt.
The executives of SOL, including Kcomt, and Vandeveer both said they were very impressed with the turnout at the event this year.
“We held this because we wanted students to know that everyone can learn how to salsa and bachata, not just Latinos,” Kcomt said.
At the end of the event, a dancing competition was held. Each couple danced the salsa and then the leaders of SOL chose a winner based on the best dances. The club gave away prizes, including baskets full of laundry detergent pods, dish soap and various snacks.
On Oct. 3, SOL is hosting a Folkloric Dance presentation in the atrium of the Schwitzer Student Center.