Spanish Speakers Learn Latin Dance

Vaughn Luthringer, Staff Writer

Traditional Spanish classwork replaced with traditional Cuban salsa dancing on Tuesday, April 25.

The Spanish language classes assembled in the big gym and multi-use room throughout the day, where they received instruction from professional salsa teacher Gary Johnson.

“Every year we do the salsa,” said Spanish teacher Maria Cadenas. “I think they started doing it like five years ago. He’s [Johnson] a professional; he dances for a living. So he decides everything.”

Johnson modeled steps for the boys while Spanish teacher Concha Martinez assisted the girls. “First what we did was we formed in two lines, girls and guys,” explained freshman Angie Louie.

“We started out with just doing [dancing] by ourselves with single steps, and then we partnered up and did more actual dancing,” said freshman Emma Smith.

Johnson was a hit with many of the students. “He was really funny and he was really nice and he’s really into it,” said Louie. “He was trying to get everyone else into it, and he played really funny music.”

“We got into a huge circle, and we got paired up, and the girls kept moving to different guys, and you practiced your dance moves with them,” Louie said.

Over the course of the 50 minute period, the classes learned more complex moves such as turns. “I found some of the steps kind of challenging,” Louie said. “But the more you did it the better you got.”

“In one of the classes, it was a small group, and he taught them a few more things than to the other classes,” Cadenas added.

Cadenas said that Campolindo would like to host the salsa classes twice a year, but unfortunately, that’s not an option. “We do not have enough money to do that,” Cadenas said. Luckily, though, students still get one opportunity to learn about the traditional Latin dance.