Salsa^2 : Celebrating Latinx culture while at a predominantly white campus

Students dance to Caribbean rhythms at the Four Winds. "We get it...Latinx people love 'Suavemente'," first-year Sofia Jimenez said.
Students dance to Caribbean rhythms at the Four Winds. “We get it…Latinx people love ‘Suavemente’,” first-year Sofia Jimenez said.

The infectious beats of reggaetón, bachata and cumbia hits had students sweating all night long, middle-school-dance style. Decked with flags from Colombia, Argentina, Peru and the Dominican Republic, the Four Winds was transformed into a showcase of Latinx culture that everyone could appreciate.

Since Salsa^2 began in fall semester 2016, it has been an outlet for intense dancing, stress relief and cultural appreciation.

“Salsa^2 takes me home for just a moment,” second-year Camila Vallejo said in an e-mail interview. “It’s really amazing seeing what it’s become and how much people appreciate it. It’s become a tradition and I really hope that it continues on.”

The Four Winds was converted into the perfect dance space for Salsa2 complete with flashing lights and loud speakers.
The Four Winds was converted into the perfect dance space for Salsa2
complete with flashing lights and loud speakers.

While Salsa^2 is primarily a time for students to dance and have fun, it also serves the important purpose of allowing Latinx student to express themselves and take pride in their culture.

“Salsa^2 means that I can have a space to appreciate and enjoy Latinx culture at a predominantly white institution that tends to ignore the minority students on campus,” first-year Cabrini Austin said in an e-mail interview. “It calls for the celebration of a culture that is largely underrepresented at this school.”

RA Bocanumeth dances with residents and fellow students at the RA program.
RA Bocanumeth dances with residents and fellow students at the RA program.

The event has quickly become a favorite among students for its flavorful food and liberal use of the song ‘Suavemente’ by Elvis Crespo, the unofficial anthem for Latinx parties.

“I might be biased, pero nuestras culturas tienen muy buen bailarines y comida riquísima,” second-year Matthew Bocanumeth, one of the organizers of the event, said in an e-mail interview. “Thank you to all who came out!”

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