La noche de salsa

Students line with their partners as they learn the basics of salsa dancing. (Photo credit: Sydney Hughes)

Sydney Hughes, Staff Reporter

La Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica, better known as Spanish Honor Society (SHH), held its first Night of Salsa on February 3, 2016. Serving as one of the club’s fiestas, SHH members and candidates gathered together to eat delicious, student-made salsa with chips and learn popular Latin dances including la salsa, la meringue, and la bachata. Since it takes two to salsa dance, Mercy’s SHH collaborated with the SHH program at Brother Rice High School to put on this event.

In the drama studio, everyone welcomed dance instructors from Trifecta Language and Cultural Institute as they gave step by step instructions on how to perfect some of the basic salsa dance steps, such as the cross body lead and right/left turns. Students were immersed in Hispanic culture as they mimicked the dance instructor with their partner. For junior Asabea Kirkland, salsa dancing was something she had never done before, but it is something she now enjoys.

“I like it!” stated Kirkland. “I learned I really like to salsa dance [because] it’s really fun. Also, sometimes you should get out of your comfort zone to have some fun.”

In addition to dancing, Mercy’s SHH members could also participate in a crafty activity involving colored tissue paper and pipe cleaners. The aftermath of their creation was an effortless, flower hair accessory.

“It’s important because you need to learn about cultures outside of your own,” stated Kirkland. “It makes you grow and [become] more well rounded. It makes you more sympathetic for others who are not like you.”

Throughout the night, students could enjoy delicious chips and homemade salsa created by SHH members. The homemade salsa was entered into a salsa competition that was judged by everyone who attended the event. In the end, the win was given to a group made up of juniors Allie Sanderson, Lauren Foley, and Kennedy Kuffer. The students were required to film their group while making their salsa dish.

“I’m not really sure [how long it took],” stated Sanderson. “I didn’t pay attention because I was having a lot of fun. [It took] maybe an hour, but editing and putting the video together took longer.”

Though not at the event, Sanderson still shared the same feelings of shock and excitement about winning that Kuffner and Foley did.

“I wasn’t at the salsa dancing event when they announced the winning group, but Kennedy texted me and I felt super surprised,” stated Sanderson. “I knew there’d be a lot of competition, so I’m glad that the work we put in and the fun we had paid off.”

Sanderson is also in agreement with Kirkland about the importance of being exposed to different cultures.

“We need to be more accepting as a society of different culture,” stated Sanderson. “There are no better cultures or worse cultures, just different cultures. Everyone needs to understand that. People need to stop condemning and being afraid cultures that they don’t understand. We’re all people, and we can all learn from each other to make the world a better, more accepting place for everyone.”