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Hispanic students host 'Fiesta Night'

By Justin Cheatham
On March 22, 2011


The Hispanic Student Association held their first Fiesta Night on March 9 at The Club in the Sam Rayburn Student Center. Despite the timing of the event, the dance floor was packed with students.

"We were asked by Lorena, one of the members of HSA, because she has always wanted to do bachata, merengue, and salsa lessons," President of the HSA and Psychology graduate student Julian Sanchez said.  "We also have salsa night, but she wanted a night for other Latin and Caribbean dances and tropical music because she had a class that she taught at the Rec. Center this semester and wanted to have a dance for her students. This is actually promoted by the [Morriss Recreation] Center. They set it up with the Club and managed the other details. We are here as an organization to host it and to get people to dance. Little by little, we are going to make it a bigger event, this is the first time and people are a little bit shy, but that's ok."

Junior Lorena Ledesma teaches dancing classes at the Morris Recreation Center on top of her responsibilities as a student.

"I love it; it's great," Ledesma said. "It's a good turnout, but hopefully, next time we do it, there will be more people. I taught salsa, bachata, merengue and cumbia this semester, but I only teach the basic steps and for the rest I just let them go as they want."

Traditional Hispanic foods like quesadillas and beef empanadas were on hand as well to fuel up the dancers for a fun-filled night.

"We need more people, but I think it's just because this is mid-term week," sophomore Andrea Rodriguez said. "I think it's good what they are doing though, having contact with the Hispanic community, because you don't see that many Hispanics here. It is important to reach out to them and try to include them in the university. We are part of the school, so it's good to see the school host these kinds of events. "

Students, faculty and staff enjoyed the sights and sounds of the Latin world. Some of the professors even ventured as far as the edge of the dance floor to mingle with their students.

"I think its good because young people like to dance and enjoy the time they spend together," Spanish Instructor Blanca Daza said. "It's good to promote integration and to get exercise and socialize, too."

Though this was the first year for Fiesta Night, the HSA seemed pleased with the multicultural turnout and university support.

"It's pretty awesome because you get to get together with a lot of people from your culture," freshman Mary Ochoa said. "So it's really cool that we have it. If anyone has the chance to come, come because it's a great experience."

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