Miramonte Students Develop Salsa Skills

Photo: The Burrito Project

Photo: The Burrito Project

Amanda DeVecchi, Staff Writer

The art of Latin American dance does not come easily. It takes practice and skill to learn and memorize the steps. We will learn about Miramonte students’ experiences while dancing during school, and what it take to “move your hips like a real Latino would.”

Every year the Spanish classes at Miramonte work on some kind of Latin American dance. These include the Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, and Mambo. Whether the dance is for a class project or just for fun, it really depends on the class [Spanish 2-5]. On Nov. 13, a professional dance instructor who works in Emeryville came to Miramonte to teach all levels of Spanish how to salsa. The instructor began with around eight basic steps so it would be easy for the students to follow along.

Senior Ali Ingrey really enjoys being able to learn cultural dances because it allows her to unwind during her second period. ¨Dancing during my Spanish class is a great way to get my energy out,” Ingrey said.  There are many advantages to being able to dance during the school year. Not only is it fun and relaxing but it is a positive experience for students of any level. ¨During the day it is a way to bond with Senor Diaz and the rest of the class,” Ingrey said. ¨Dancing in Spanish is something that I have done for the past three years, but this year a lot more.” Ingrey added.

Dancing is stress relieving and a way for students to learn about culture. Senior Keana Delos Santos says she enjoys cultural dances because they are amusing and learning the dances themselves is educational. Just like Ingrey, Delos Santos revels in the dance of salsa. “My favorite dance is the Salsa. Since I have experience with dancing, Salsa was a second nature to me.”

Delos Santos agrees with Ingrey that having the professional come in was very fun and helpful. Both students thought it was an interactive experience and refreshing to have a new voice and new set of eyes watching the class’ form. Delos Santos has been in Spanish for four years now. She has Señora Unroe and she really likes Unroe as a teacher. For Delos Santos’s class they also do dancing for fun, but Delos Santos believes that participation is taken into consideration for one’s grade. “It’s [dancing] something I look forward to now, it creates a fun environment for everybody!”

Junior Mia Grillo is half Spanish and loves to express herself during school hours in the form of dance. “Dancing is fun because it gets the whole class involved and everyone’s laughing and having fun.” Grillo felt that having the professional come in was entertaining because of how advanced he was compared to the students. “I’m glad we danced the Salsa because you and your partner get to try to move your hips like a real Latino dancer would.” Grillo has Senora Unroe this year as well. “I really like that the teachers try to fit dancing into the curriculum each year. It’s a great way to take a break from the normal classroom atmosphere.”