Students Spice up the Dance Floor at Salsa Night
Melanie Espinal – General Reporter
For the Week of Welcome the Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS) organized a Salsa night kick off with lessons provided by Alisa Bowens, who owns Alisa’s House of Salsa.
People from all races and ethnic backgrounds were hand and hip following her dance instructions, which she broke down for beginners. She compared a move in salsa to to putting on shampoo, getting many laughs from her audience. Students got a chance to try the moves with her, even though the heavy turnout made for little dance space.
Cassandra Veltri, freshman communications major, said although she was not of Latin origin she saw someone passing out flyers and thought the event would be a good time to meet people and learn more about dancing.
Mariliz Maysonet, senior Spanish major, is a member of OLAS. Mayonset said that OLAS helped her “meet people like me.”
She said that although OLAS helped her find people she has things in common with, the point of OLAS is that you don’t have to be Hispanic to come together. Maysonet said she wanted people to leave the event knowing was that it does not matter where you are from.
The event had a good atmosphere, with many people on the dance floor, and some shyer individuals rocking their head to the beat from their chairs, regardless of whether they knew the words to the bachata or salsa songs.
Bishme Sheppard, a junior exercise science major, said he is always trying to get closer to everybody on campus.
“Honestly,” Sheppard said, “I feel a family vibe here.”
Sheppard who has participated in dance competitively, hip hop and contemporary modern dance, said the idea of dance also drew him in.
OLAS member Armani Mondesir, junior accounting major, said being that last year was his first year, since he transferred from Norwalk Community College, OLAS gave him a sense of belonging, he said, it’s more than just an organization.
“I go to schools all over the state,” Bowens said. “Everybody loves latin culture.”
She’s done the same with other schools including Eastern Connecticut State University, Western Connecticut State University, the University of Connecticut, Central Connecticut State University, Quinnipiac University and many other universities, high schools, and middle schools according to the Alisa’s House of Salsa website.
“It’s the first week of classes in a new year,” she said.
This means, she said, students will be trying many different activities and experiences. In this case, Latin dance, which is so diverse she said, unifies all people.
“It’s good to have open minds and participate in things you might not have considered,” Bowens said. “You never know what you’ll like.”
Photo Credit: Palmer Piana – Photo Editor