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HHS creates new club: Latin Dance Club

February 8, 2018

On Monday, February 5, students met in the cafeteria after school for the first ever Latin Dance Club session. It was organized by students Zochitl Contreras, junior, and Camille Clarke, junior.

“I first reached out to Camille Clarke, who helped me get it all organized. Then once I had a team of two, three, four people that would help me get it together, I talked to Profe Owen who is our advisor for it and we got it going,” Contreras said.

Professor Timothy Owen, Spanish, supervised the meeting, supplying the music. Two Latin dance partners, Chini Yeniél Perez and Hanna Esparza instructed the group of students.

“Last year, in Juntos, we did a project where every team came up with a presentation for dance and you had to teach the class how to do it. I was kind of sad that I missed out on the other opportunities for dance, so I talked to the Professor about the idea,” Contreras said.

The AP World teachers, Ms. Maggie Temple, Ms. Jennifer Heimlich, and Mr. Rick Rexroth offered extra credit to their students for attending two sessions. In a class where extra credit is hard to come by, many were motivated to get these 5 points. Approximately 40 students made a large circle and mirrored the movements of the instructors in the open cafeteria.

“I imagined way less people, so I’m really happy. I was really happy that Ms. Temple and all the AP World teachers gave out extra credit for it, which was super helpful. There was a rough start, but it was a good first time,” Contreras said.

There were laughs and smiles all around, as partners fumbled the steps, or were just beginning to master them. After a few minutes practicing with one partner, students were asked to move one down the circle and dance with a new person.

Perez and Esparza would count the beat of the steps, allow some time for practice, and then que Mr. Owen to play the music. The dance taught was a Cuban Style Salsa, called Bachata, with a big emphasis on community and interacting with multiple people while dancing it.

“I hope for this club to just be an after school thing that’s no pressure,” Contreras said. “It’s just an hour, so it’s not too heavy on homework, you kind of sit around and have fun. I relax through dancing.”

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