New dance club promotes Latino culture, unites students

By By Rebecca Skidmore

By Rebecca Skidmore

A recently formed salsa dance club hopes to spice up the U’s social scene.

Students from a dance company called Dru Gaya Forma decided to form the U Salsa Club after they realized the school did not have one.

“We started the club because we realized that there wasn’t a salsa club or even a big Latin club on campus,” said club president Jessica Goodman, a junior majoring in biology.

Salsa clubs have become popular at other Utah schools such as Utah State University and Brigham Young University.

“We thought it would be really fun to unite a bunch of students who would be interested in learning, and I think a lot of people would like to know but are intimidated,” Goodman said. “We thought it would be a good idea to utilize the resources at the U.”

The club currently has nine members but hopes to continue to grow in size.

Dan Bright, one of the newest members and a recent graduate from the U, joined a few months ago.

“I like to dance,” he explained. “The first time it was a little intimidating, but it is always fun and these guys are great teachers.”

His advises newcomers to just be brave.

“Put aside all your fears and just step right in and try it, and you will come away learning a lot more than they thought you would,” he said.

The Salsa Club meets every Monday in the Naval Science building gym from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

A group of members also likes to meet Saturday nights at Karamba’s, a salsa nightclub located at 1051 E. 2100 South in Sugar House, to show off their new moves as well as teach others.

“We like to come to the salsa club and help out. We can teach the basics to others,” said Roman Rubalcava, club vice president and another recent alumnus.

The club’s adviser, Maria Ivanova, is a dance instructor at the U.

“It is a good way for students to learn who were not able to get into my class,” she explained. “A lot of people are on the waiting list at the U who would like to get into the class.”

Dancing can also be a good way to learn more about another culture.

“I think a lot of students at the U who are taking Spanish would enjoy learning more about the culture as well,” she said.

If the club is granted money from ASUU, they plan to use it to hold dance parties for students in one of the Union ballrooms.

“I think it is really fun and it is a really good social thing. It is a great way to meet other students?and to learn a little bit about the Latin culture,” Goodman said.

The club’s long-term goals include sending pairs to compete in dance competitions.

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