In our very own College Avenue Gym, students learn about a major part of Latino culture, get prepped for international competitions, and gain confidence in a very unique way. Welcome to the fast-paced and intricate art of salsa dancing.
RU Salsa is the university club dedicated to teaching and practicing this Latin tradition with over one hundred students. They cater to all salsa skill levels with beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes. Most importantly, no experience is needed to join.
“There is never a dull moment in salsa club because of the diversity, ” said Naomi Washington Roque, next president of RU Salsa. “Everyone has fun, learns, and teaches. In the end, even as an instructor I learn something from my students everyday.”
They recently conducted a workshop for Greek life, teaching over a hundred sorority and fraternity members how to dance salsa. They have numerous events coming up such as the RU Salsa Project, which brings performances by the genre’s professional dancers, and Salsa at Stress, a mix of comedy and dancing at the Stress Factory. Perhaps the biggest move for the organization is how they’re attempting to gain entrance into the NJ International Salsa Congress, which would give RU Salsa international recognition.
According to Jordan Seda, RU Salsa president, Salsa is an integral part of Latino culture. On campus, most Latinos know how to dance Bachata or Merengue, but they usually come here to learn Salsa.
“Being that Salsa is a dance with its origins in the Caribbean, I feel that Latin culture is extremely important,” said Roque. “At its core, Salsa is an expression of Latin culture.”
Three years ago, Seda first joined the club only because he was dragged along by a friend and was looking for a good way to meet female students. He was originally too shy to even take part, but then he gave it a shot.
“Now I teach advanced salsa and when I walk around campus people refer to me as the salsa man. Also my confidence is at an all time high,” said Seda.
According to Seda, the main effect of joining RU Salsa was that his students gained a lot of self-confidence.
“When you learn to master a skill you never thought you could, you then learn to take on bigger challenges outside of Salsa,” Seda said.
By: Spencer M.