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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Latino Dance Club: New addition to campus life

Photo by Isabel Bonebrake
The club meets every Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the Straz Yoga Room.

Estefany Ubca Villa, a first-year in the College of Health Sciences and president of the Latino Dance Club, has been dancing since she was five-years-old. When she came to Marquette from Venezuela, she wanted to continue her passion.

“I was in the gym dancing and then someone just turned their eyes on and said ‘oh my god, you have to create a club, your dance is so magical, you have to do something.’ I was like, ‘Can I do that?,’” Ubca Villa said.

Ubca Villa gathered all of the information needed and then created the Latino Dance Club in this semester.

“My purpose is not just like dancing. For me personally, I use dance for my mental health. It helps me with my anxiety, helps me to express my feelings and my emotions. I want to express that you don’t need any experience to be in the club,” Ubca Villa said. “It’s just a club to pull all the communities together and help with mental health.”

The club meets every Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the Straz Yoga Room. Each week Ubca Villa, or anyone else who volunteers, teaches the dance to the participants. They have previously learned bachata, salsa and cumbia. To begin the meetings, they do activities, like karaoke, to relax and bring people together.

Bachata originated in the Dominican Republic and is danced from side to side. Salsa was developed from Latin dances and is known for its expressive sensual dance moves. Cumbia originated in Colombia and it began as a folk dance that blended the culture of native Colombians and the enslaved Africans.

Natalia Zuniga, first-year in the College of Arts & Sciences, joined the club when Ubca Villa told her that she wanted to create a Latino Dance club as a way to bring different Hispanic and Latino cultures together.

“I love that in our club we get to meet so many new people and see the more fun and relaxed sides of everybody compared to when we all are always hurrying to get to class and busy studying. It’s also nice learning each person’s different culture and their dance style,” Zuniga said in an email.

Although Zuniga has no dance experience, she said it is exciting and to learn new dance moves and exercises.

“With the club and our events I know it’s my form of self-care and getting my mind away from school to de-stress because we all get a chance to hang out, sometimes play games and win prizes, and of course dance! With that, I hope other members who have joined or people who are interested in joining get a chance to stop by and also get to relax, exercise and have fun,” Zuniga said in an email.

Jazmin Muro, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, joined the club because it she enjoys dancing and wanted to use the time as a break from school and studying.

“After coming to our events, I hope that people can leave feeling less stressed, content and aware of the different kinds of Latin dances there are. Our goal is for people to have a good time and for them to feel comfortable regardless of their dancing skills. We hope that new friendships and memories will be made within this dance club,” Muro said.

Muro said what she enjoys about dancing is learning new steps and techniques about dances that she didn’t know about.

“What I like most about the club is that there are different cultures, backgrounds, and dancing levels that come together to have some fun by dancing,” Muro said.

Ubca Villa said that although there are different dance clubs on campus, she is not here for competition but for the community.

“I hope they feel good in the club. I hope they feel comfortable,” Ubca Villa said. “I hope if they feel alone, they feel the community.”

This story was written by Hannah Hernandez. She can be reached at [email protected]

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