By: Brenna Hauver
On March 7th, the Spanish classes at The Winchendon School came together during study hall for a night of salsa and bachata. Students gathered in Trustees Hall, along with a dance instructor who was brought in to help teach the students enthusiastically. The instructor, Dan, was extremely kind and kept the spirits of the students high throughout the lesson. The lesson started out with the instructor teaching us eight counts, helping us to keep our dance moves on the beat for the rest of the night.
During the lessons we had the opportunities to both learn the dances independently and to dance with a partner. We first learned salsa, which originated in Cuba and Puerto Rico during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The instructor broke the dance into 2 parts, side to side and front to back. After we quickly learned the dance, Dan moved on to teach us bachata, which originated in the Dominican Republic in the 1960s. The instructor also broke this dance into 3 parts, front to back, side to side, and the spin.
I was lucky enough to be one of the students to attend the lesson. I came into the lesson ready to have fun and I was not disappointed. The way Dan broke down the steps made it easy for me to follow with my lack of dance experience. By the end of the night, I was able to correctly execute each dance with confidence. The lesson was an amazing way for me to learn about a different culture in a joyful way. Being a part of this experience was something that I extremely enjoyed and would love to be a part of in future opportunities. I would recommend attending any events similar to this one instead of hanging out in your dorm room.
The lesson continued with amazing energy coming from the students for the rest of the night. With the echoes of laughter radiating throughout the room, my peers and I successfully learned the dances and danced around the room with our friends. Some students, including myself, even stayed after the lesson was finished to continue dancing with their friends. The salsa and bachata night was an amazing way to bring the community together, educate them about different cultures, and have some fun along the way.