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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Second annual salsa night takes over The Perch

Students practice dancing during the event. PHOTO: LESLIE QUAN ’22

Two professional salsa dancers stood at the front of The Perch, their backs to about 20 students standing behind them.

“1, 2, 3,” the instructors counted off as the students attempted to imitate the dancers’ steps.

The students were there as part of the second annual Salsa Night, hosted by the Latino Student Association (LSA). The event, which took place Nov. 20, was co-sponsored by PepsiCo.

The evening began with a performance by two dancers from the company Art in Motion. Then the couple showed the students some solo salsa moves as well as a couples dance. 

Ryan Fundora ’22, a member of LSA, said his favorite part of the evening was learning to salsa from two professionals.

We just had somebody from a Latin club come and teach it [last year],” Fundora said. “Here there’s actual instructors teaching you step-by-step, and that was really good.”

The co-sponsorship with Pepsi came about after alum Laura Gomez ’19 interned with Pepsi in 2018 in Asbury Park. While there, she worked on a project called Hispanic “Own the Streets,” which targets Hispanic communities in different areas of Philadelphia and New Jersey, helping the communities build and grow bodegas and mercados, convenience stores and markets, respectively, popular in Spanish-speaking regions. 

When St. Joe’s signed a contract with Pepsi in fall 2018, there was a desire to continue creating a sense of community, specifically with the Hispanic community on campus, according to Gomez.

The school wanted the students to have a fun activity and still have engagement with our brand, so we came up with doing a Pepsi Salsa Night,” Gomez said.

This year, an effort was made to open the event to anyone who wanted to come, not only students involved with LSA.

Julia Alexandrakis ’23 is one of the students outside of LSA who showed up to salsa.

I just have a very profound interest with Latin American culture, so I really wanted to be a part of it,” Alexandrakis said. 

Roderich Martinez ’20, co-president of LSA , said that is exactly what the event is all about it. 

“We come from many different countries,” Martinez said. “When we’re here in the States. we try to keep our culture as well as assimilating to the American culture. We would like to introduce Americans to our culture so that we can exchange culture.


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