Students explore personal identity through Salsa dancing

Saint Mary’s students danced their way to discovering personal identity Monday during “The Salsa Story: Embracing Dance through Dialogue,” an event in the annual Diverse Students’ Leadership Conference (DSLC). Associate professor of humanistic studies Laura Ambrose and assistant professor of music Emily McManus led the dance lesson and discussion. In addition to teaching the basic salsa step, they also taught variations of salsa — cumbia, side step, merengue and tango.Ambrose said knowing the origins of salsa dance will help students determine what stereotypes exist and what is culturally accurate. “It is a representation of pan-Latin identity,” she said. “It is danced throughout the Americas, and, as of the 21st century, globally.”According to Ambrose, pan-Latin is term that is inclusive to all people who are of a Latino heritage. There is no single global version of salsa, but there are interpretations based on the community — Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican, etc., Ambrose said. “It becomes this innate way of creating community,” McManus said. “It can also be a way of building communities or excluding communities.”Some styles of salsa are favored more in certain cultures, while other styles are looked down on, which causes a cultural separation, McManus said. “We continually perform identities,” she said. “It’s where your cultural affiliation is.”Dances have stereotypes that are often different from the real reasons people learn to dance, McManus said. “‘Dancing with the Stars’ is representing a generic ritual,” she said. “They’re not realizing anything about cultural affiliation.”McManus said students are often concerned about what to wear when attending dance lessons, rather than on the dance itself. “I thought I had to wear heels,” McManus said. “But then I found myself falling. Anyone can do this — you don’t have to wear anything specific.”Ambrose emphasized dance is not only about how someone looks while dancing, but how the person feels.“I started dancing when I was in college,” she said. “It was an avenue to my femininity and my sexuality. My relationship with dance was fundamentally me becoming comfortable with my body.”Senior Student Diversity Board fundraising chair Katherine Morley said she had only one previous experience with dancing the salsa, but the workshop gave her a new perspective on the dance.“It was interesting to learn about,” Morely said. “It was cool to see it as an adult now and think of it as a club setting and not just on ‘Dancing with the Stars.’”Tags: Diverse Students’ Leadership Conference, diversity dialogue, DSLC, Salsa dancing read more

USC falls to Texas A&M in battle of top-20 teams as offense sputters

first_imgTwo undefeated teams tipped off at the Galen Center on Sunday: the No. 16 Texas A&M Aggies (5-0) and the No. 10 Trojans (4-0). The matchup was heralded as USC’s biggest non-conference test, a rematch against an Aggies team that returned all its starters from a year ago and added five more scholarship players. Last year, the Trojans won in College Station 65-63 after some last-second De’Anthony Melton heroics. This year, the hero sat out due to eligibility questions (he has yet to play this season), and USC missed him sorely throughout in a 75-59 loss.“It was a little different (without) De’Anthony,” head coach Andy Enfield said. “He played great last year. We just didn’t play as well as they did.”The game was supposed to be a barometer for the two teams, both national championship contenders, but USC, despite being the higher-ranked team, looked like David facing Goliath — if David forgot his slingshot.“I thought our defense was good enough to win,” Enfield said. “Our offense was not.”The Trojans trailed for most of the game, but they managed to square the score at 42 with 14:15 to play in the second half. Then, Texas A&M embarked on a 19-3 run over the next 7:41 that sucked the energy out of the Galen Center. With 8:34 remaining and the Trojans trailing by 16, Enfield called a full timeout. The team initially responded well; junior forward Bennie Boatwright, still scoreless, notched 5 points in under a minute. Then, senior guard Jordan McLaughlin pocketed a 3-pointer to cut the Aggies lead to 10. The score was 63-53 with seven minutes to play with plenty of time for a comeback. But the Trojans could not shoot well enough to overcome another deficit. For the game, USC shot 20-of-71 (28.2 percent) and 7-of-27 (25.9 percent) from 3-point range. Enfield said it was the worst shooting performance a USC team has had in his five years with the program.“It just deflates you,” Enfield said about missing so many shots. “We kept missing easy shots — shots the that we normally make.” McLaughlin, the captain, kept urging his teammates to shoot, but nothing was falling. “We know we have a lot of fight in us,” he said, “(but) it kind of was a little deflating.”Texas A&M’s length interfered with the Trojans’ offense. The Aggies, anchored by reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year center Robert Williams, blocked seven shots and disrupted several more plays at the rim. McLaughlin thought he missed a few floaters he otherwise would have made against a team with shorter players. USC, which has four starters who average double-digit points, is supposed to be built to win these sorts of contests. When one player goes cold, another player is expected to heat up. Against a team with great post-defense, the Trojans are supposed to compensate with more 3-pointer makes. Yet, on Sunday, every starter struggled and the offense was ice cold. Sophomore forward Nick Rakocevic did his best to spark the team off the bench — in 12 minutes in the first half, he had 11 points and six rebounds, but in the second half, he did not score.“Everyone just needs to do their job,” McLaughlin said. “Tonight, Nick did his job.” But, for USC, not enough players did.last_img read more

Owner of dog that bit mail carrier still seeking haven

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Contrary to a report from neighbors at a weekend party for Choi – included in an article Sunday in the Daily Breeze – Chucky has not been euthanized. The dog remains at the Carson Animal Shelter until Torrance officials decide what should be done with him. Owner Ryan Brennan has until Friday to find an animal sanctuary that will take the dog, which was deemed vicious by the city of Torrance at a public hearing on Sept 10. If no acceptable placement is found, the white-and-brindle pit bull will be destroyed. “I won’t let that happen,” said 23-year-old Brennan. “I’m going to find a sanctuary.” Brennan said he found a Los Angeles-based nonprofit facility that rehabilitates and rescues dogs, but he is waiting to hear whether the owner will take Chucky. By Megan Bagdonas STAFF WRITER More than five weeks after the dog that mauled a Torrance letter carrier was declared a danger to the community, no decisions have been made about his fate. But time is running out for Chucky, the 100-pound pit bull that bit 60-year-old postman Moon Choi. If his dog is accepted, Brennan said he would have to pay the facility $1,700 to retrain the pit bull. And that’s on top of the $600 Brennan will owe the Carson Animal Shelter by the end of the month for housing his dog. Torrance Animal Control officials said they would approve Chucky going to the facility on a temporary basis, but that eventually a permanent sanctuary must be found. “When we talked with the facility they said there was a possibility that they might be able to take Chucky from the (Carson) shelter and then find a sanctuary for him,” said Patrick Wren, Torrance Animal Control administrator. “But if (the facility) can’t find a sanctuary, then the ball is back in Mr. Brennan’s court to find a sanctuary.” If Brennan doesn’t find a place to house Chucky by Friday, he can buy more time by appealing to the City Council. “We’re coming up on a deadline here,” Wren said. The problem for Brennan is that the Torrance hearing officer ordered that Chucky never be released from a sanctuary for adoption. And most sanctuaries rehabilitate abused or abandoned animals for that purpose. “Chucky will never see new owners,” Wren said. “We have to make sure he doesn’t get adopted.” Chucky was taken away from Brennan Aug. 20 after he jumped over a fence and bit Choi in the face when he came to deliver mail on Amapola Avenue. On Saturday, residents of the neighborhood held a party for Choi and presented the popular mail carrier with a fluffy white puppy to show their support. [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more