ESU’s Latin Dance Club Spices Things Up

Students of ESU Latin Dance Club practice in Lenape Lounge. Photo Credit / Jenny Bront
Students of ESU Latin Dance Club practice in Lenape Lounge. Photo Credit / Jenny Bront

Students of ESU Latin Dance Club practice in Lenape Lounge.
Photo Credit / Jenny Bront

BY JENNY BRONT

SC Staff Writer 

At ESU, our diversity is what sets us apart from others. Not only are our students diverse, but our clubs and events are, too.

ESU’s own Pura Esencia Latin Dance club is no exception. Celebrating the sexy and entertaining dance styles from different Latin American countries, the club features three dances this semester. The three dances are the Bachata, a slow and sensual dance that combines slower rhythmic music with hip swaying side steps, Salsa, a fiery dance featuring hip rolling front and back  steps, and Merengue, which consists of quick left-right steps and can be compared to marching.

In the past, the group also incorporated the Argentine Tango and hope to bring it back soon.

Pura Esencia is run by a brilliant trio of dancers and choreographers. Dr. Daganza acts as advisor. Roberto Retana, the captain, has a real affinity for dance, and when asked how he felt about Latin, he said “ I love to dance. It’s in my blood.”

Co-captain Kadeem Haskins, is also a vital part of making the group what it is. The troupe has a profound affect on Haskins which he described when he said, “It’s Freedom, it’s fun, and it’s family.”

His choreography and easy-to-follow instruction, make learning the steps easy and subsequently making the dances enjoyable.

Marlene Cottos, who is acting as the secretary, helps perfect the dancing and is not afraid to voice her opinion. Though sometimes they argue, they care about the club and want everyone to succeed.

The team accepts everyone as their own, whether they are professionals, or novice dancers. They begin with the basics so everyone can join and take up the activity. As they learn, the group readies themselves for the ESU Diversity Ball, where they will perform in December, and the Latin Festival, which will take place in April.

In past years, Pura Esencia has performed at Stroudsburg Intermediary Elementary School and Donegan Elementary School. They will also teach a workshop at the Mattioli Recreation Center for anyone interested in learning the basics for Latin Month.

Email Jenny at:

jbront@live.esu.edu

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