Are your evening activities feeling pretty bland? Try adding a little salsa! Every Thursday in the basement of the Intercultural Center, Drexel’s Salsa con Cache dance group teaches students how to getintothe Latin groove with some sizzling salsa moves. They’re a bargain at $5 a session, with beginner instructions from 6 to7p.m. and intermediate level practice from 7 to 8.
Stepping back a momentintothehistoryof the dance, we find ourselvesinthe 1940s, where an offshoot of Cuban and Afro-Cuban dances is emerging. This early salsa eventually evolved into area-specific styles, such as Puerto Rican or LA-style, and enthusiasts can be found worldwide. While it usually is a duo dance, there are line- and circle-dance versions. Salsa routines caneitherbe carefully orchestrated or crafted on the fly, opening up endless possibilities for the dancers.
Sophomore Claudia Gutierrez,presidentof Salsa con Cache, saysthatthegrouphas been running for five years after being created by a Drexelalumnus. However, the dancing lost some ofitstempo about two years ago. Gutierrez and Salsa con Cachevice president Lorenzo Albala are looking to bringinnew faces andpick upthe pace againinthe semesters ahead. Some events to lookforwardtoincludesocials, dance outings and a line-dancing event shared with theFilipinoIntercultural Society of Drexel University.
When I first stopped by a salsa session, I was greeted by a crowd of friendly faces of all ages. Experienced dancers and two-left-footers alike were ready for some fun. With enough partners to go around and a steady rotating flow, showing up solo isn’t a problem at all. To start off, we were given the basic footworkinthe form of a rock-step set to salsa’s signature ¾ beat. Eventually we moved on to more advanced sequences. If I happened to stumbleovermyself, my partners were alwaysmore thanwilling to offer pointers.Therewas always a laugh to be had, and the atmosphere was energetic and happy. Once I’m comfortable enough with the basics, I hope to move up totry outthe next level of classes.
Gutierrez and the other dedicated members of Salsa con Cache are striving to overcome the hurdlestheirbeloved dancegrouphas experienced lately to become ahouseholdname around Drexel’s campus. She urgesanyonelooking for a new cultural experience, a quick confidence-booster, a way toburnsome calories or an outlet for letting off someschool-related steam to stop by for somesalsa. As she says, “The friendshipsthatyou make on the dance floorlastaslongasyou are willing to keep on dancing.”