On Oct. 15, El Centro Latino hosted salsa lessons at the Bellevue College as part of the festivities to promote Hispanic Heritage Month. Before the lessons, El Centro held an introduction to salsa in the cafeteria. They showed a video about the origins of salsa and bachata as well as a demonstration from the instructors, Multi-Cultural Services employee Oriana Estrada and her partner Baboucarr.
The cafeteria was loud and filled with the chatter of students, but as soon as
the instructors got on
stage, the room began to quiet down. Estrada, who
has now been dancing for five years, is on the Hispanic Heritage Month planning committee and volunteered to instruct.
“I grew up listening to the music because I am Latina and it’s a part of the culture that I grew up with,” Estrada said.
Once the demonstration was over anyone who was interested in learning salsa could join the instructors in room C120 for a 30 minute workshop. What began as a small group of 10 people became a group of over 20 eager-to-learn students and faculty.
Baboucarr began by building the confidence of the room by saying, “If you can walk, you can dance.” The instructors started off the lessons by parting the female and male dancers into rows to show each group their basic steps and roles in the dance. After demonstrating the basic dance moves, they began to show the more complicated side-to-side steps and turns.
As the workshop concluded, the students and faculty could practice their newly learned dance moves at the free style dance party, the final portion of the salsa lessons hosted by El Centro.
El Centro Latino Director Victoria Sinfuentes’ goal to “promote dance and culture” was achieved with the smiling faces of the crowd.