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

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Govt urges tourist sites to follow COVID-19 rules on long weekend

first_imgHe highlighted that several tourist sites had seen overwhelming crowds last weekend, which turned out to be three days with Independence Day falling on Monday.Read also: More than 15,000 hikers swamp Mt. Bawakaraeng in South Sulawesi to celebrate Independence DayFor example, more than 15,000 hikers thronged Mount Bawakaraeng in South Sulawesi to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Independence Day on top of the mountain. As authorities failed to intervene, the number of hikers commemorating the event on the mountain had tripled from previous years.”We don’t want to see that happening again this holiday weekend,” said Wiku.The government declared Friday a collective leave day in addition to Islamic New Year, which fell on Thursday, to create a four-day weekend.The move is expected to boost economic activity in tourism, a sector that had seen a significant decline in the last few months due to the COVID-19 outbreak.Health authorities announced 2,266 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the total number of infections nationwide to 147,211. Meanwhile, the official count of COVID-19 fatalities has reached 6,418.Topics : The government has urged managers of tourist attractions to strictly enforce COVID-19 health protocols as visitors are expected to flock to popular sites for the long weekend.National COVID-19 task force spokesman Wiku Adisasmito encouraged all tourist sites to limit the number of visitors to half of their respective capacity to ensure sufficient space for physical distancing. Managers should also provide handwashing facilities for visitors.“Make sure all visitors wear masks and maintain physical distancing,” Wiku said during a press briefing on Thursday.last_img read more