Salsa Magic heats up UA's cold winter nights at EJ

By: Kayleigh Bracht

The Stage Door at EJ Thomas was heating up Tuesday when the RHPB and RHC hosted Salsa Magic.

Rhythm and music were all around as students were taught how to salsa dance by the hosts for this event, Salsa and Bachata instructors Lee El Gringuito Smith and Kat Aguilar.

Bachata is a dance that originated in the Dominican Republic. It can be either a choreographed routine or one that is improvised. Salsa dancing is a form of Bachata dancing. It is often associated with romance and heartbreak.

The dances were designed for two people, and no matter if you came alone or with someone, there was always someone to dance with.

“I never knew about Salsa, but I’m about to go back to Ritchie and practicing,” freshman Marquis Taylor said.

EJ Thomas dimmed the lights at the Stage Door to create a fun and relaxed atmosphere for the Latin dancing. Maracas, sombreros and the ever-appropriate chips and salsa accented the culture of the night’s festivities. The music played was Salsa music blended with today’s hits from artists such as Ne-Yo and Michael Jackson.

After the dance lessons, the students were given the chance to prove their newly-learned dance skills with a friendly dance competition. The competition consisted of a mix of the three dances they learned. The winners of the competition received tickets for a dance competition held in Washington, D.C. The other participants received salsa lessons from the hosts on DVD.

As the night went on, more people continued to show up. The dance floor was crowded with people showcasing their dance skills and having a good time.

“It’s something to do, and it’s free,” said attendee James Bennett, a senior social studies major at UA.

According to many of the attendees, Salsa Magic night was an exciting date idea or a way to meet new people. The dances learned from it can be a fun and enjoyable way to work out and stay active during the winter months.

The hosts started the Latin dance program nine years ago with the purpose of giving students a cultural experience. Their goal is to show how culturally diverse our campuses are. They even put on a special performance for everyone in attendance that night.