FMU students to experience magic with the music and dance of the Latin culture

Nicole Guest, Staff Writer

On October 7 from 7 to 10 p.m. the University Commons (UC) will open the dance floor in celebration of Hispanic Heritage month by hosting Salsa Magic, the number one dance event sweeping college campuses in every region of the country.

LaTasha Brand, Assistant Dean of Students, worked with The University Programming Board (UPB) to organize the event.  According to Brand, the event provides students with the opportunity to learn Latin dance moves and show them off in a competition.

Five or six dances are taught step by step to participants during a tutorial, Brand explained.

“Once they kind of master one dance, they move on to another,” Brand said.  “After they have the opportunity to learn the dances, they have a fun contest to let participants show what they learned.”

The company that puts forth Salsa Magic is The College Agency Association, which is based in Minnesota.  Those that are interested can view a Youtube video showing what Salsa Magic has to offer by typing in “Salsa Magic.”

Brand explained that this will be the fourth time Francis Marion University hosts Salsa Magic.  She added that Sodexo, the company providing food in dining hall, will supply the event with refreshments and finger food.

According to Brand, there are two instructors.  The male instructor, Lee Smith, has been in the program every year.  He is usually accompanied by a different female dance partner every time he visits FMU.

The Latin music that students experience while participating in Salsa Magic consists of Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Reggaeton and Hip Hop.  According to Brand, the event is a great opportunity for participants to interact with each other and learn about a different culture.

“Everyone there had a good time,” Brand said about past Salsa Magic events.  “The previous year we ended up doing it while the volleyball team had a tournament.  After the game, some of the players came out and joined in.”

Brand further added that some parents of certain volleyball players walked by and tried a couple moves, along with a coach or two.

“It really is addictive once you go through and see it,” Brand said.

Students do not need to have familiarity with the dances in order to have a good time, according to Brand.  She added that participants can even attend the event alone since they will be paired up with partners.

Brand highlighted how excited she is about the event.

“I enjoy the program because of the fact that it’s so interactive,” Brand said. “We can do a movie night, but it’s not interactive until the movie finishes.”

Brand said that she is pleased when the students have fun, and that both the faculty and staff are more than welcome to join.