Salsa music filled the Campus Center Ballroom on Monday night as students, parents and University guests danced the night away.
The event was put on by Ritmos Latinos, a salsa-dancing club at the University of La Verne.
“I think it’s important to have this event because I want people to experience the difference that a live band makes,” said Andrea Sotosainz, sophomore anthropology major and founder of the club.
“People need to hear the instruments and sounds from different cultures, and this was a great way to do that.”
The club even invited an instructor to come and help the attendees learn the basic steps, such as moving back and forth and side to side. Combinations were also taught, such as cross body turns and spins.
Even guests who had no prior experience earned the opportunity to become involved in the style of dancing.
“I’ve never salsa danced,” said Tyler Hoyt, sophomore movement and sports science major. “It’s hard at first, but once you learn it, it’s pretty easy.”
Decorations of necklaces, masks and bright-colored tablecloths were used as centerpieces. Refreshments of jalapeno poppers, mozzarella sticks and horchata were available for guests.
After the teaching portion of the night, a band entertained the crowd.
The group Grupo Neblina was comprised of more than eight performers and played songs ranging from merengue and cumbia to “Brick House” by the Commodores.
The band even incorporated line dancing and Mexican rock, which brought an extra facet to the night.
“I had a lot of fun,” said Genadio Pulido, senior math major who has been dancing salsa for seven years. “The music is great.”
The group of 20 in attendance danced during the night, whether they knew the correct form or not.
“I came here to learn how to salsa and to get a workout,” said Milton Holland, a sophomore business administration major. “It’s thrilling because of all of the variety of dances I got to learn that I never knew about.”
Guests seemed to really enjoy the night, with everyone on the dance floor, not in the chairs.
No one was judgemental, and silly dance moves filled the floor, to go along with the newly learned salsa moves.
“I liked this event, it was a good way to start a week,” said Elizabeth Sanchez, sophomore psychology major.
Ritmos Latinos meets on Mondays from 9 to 11 p.m. and Wednesdays from 8 to 10 p.m. in the aerobics room in the Sports Science and Athletics Pavilion.Carly Hill can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.