The Spanish program at South held their fourth annual salsa dancing lessons on May 19 in South’s Boll Center.

Photo by Sylvia Hodges '19

Salsa dancing offers students to engage in Spanish culture

June 1, 2017

The Spanish program at South held their fourth annual salsa dancing lessons on May 19 in South’s Boll Center.  

“We have invited the dance instructors from Arthur Murray Dance Studio to come to South since 2013,” Spanish teacher Christine Borja said.

Borja said students got to experience a major part of Spanish culture by participating in the lessons.

“They get to step out of the classroom for a day and have the opportunity for a fun, new kinesthetic experience,” Borja said.

Julianna Brenner ‘19 was one of the students who participated in the event.

I originally expected it to be very awkward to learn basic salsa with mostly people I didn’t know,” Brenner said.  “Almost every person was laughing with me because we were all aware that it was a bit awkward, which made it that much more entertaining and fun.”

Brenner said she got a little better understanding of Spanish culture, however she thinks it was more of a fun experience rather than a learning experience.

“(Fun experiences are) often necessary to stay engaged with classes in general,” Brenner said.

Laine Johnson ‘20 also participated in salsa dancing.  Johnson said her expectations for the lessons were definitely met.

“I had a lot of fun,” Johnson said. “I learned about and experienced Spanish culture and it was a nice refreshing break from the classroom.”

Johnson said she sees why dancing is such a big part of Spanish culture, since it brings people together.

“Dancing is a way to connect with your community and friends and I feel that I really experienced this while dancing,” Johnson said.

Johnson also said she and the other students greatly appreciate the work the Spanish teachers put in to make the lessons possible and enjoyable.

“I am glad we got a chance to do this,” Johnson said.

Brenner advises future Spanish students to participate in salsa dancing.

“It’s only a dollar, you get to awkwardly laugh at yourself with your friends and you overall get an hour of entertainment,” Brenner said.  “Nobody is “too cool” or “not a good enough dancer” to have a good time and be involved in this experience, so why not go for it?”

Borja also said students can only benefit from this experience.

The students really enjoyed learning about part of the culture in some of the Spanish-speaking countries throughout the world,” Borja said.

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