Spanish Club spices things up with Salsa Night

July 13, 2017



Students learn basic steps in the salsa class presented by the Spanish Club. The event featured Argentinian dancer Skarleth Vargas as an instructor for the attendees. – Photo by Ashley Kober

Andrew Bell
Staff Reporter | agb022@latech.edu


The TONK was overflowing with students interested in salsa May 2, and that’s no reference to the dip.


Salsa dancers of all levels and experiences were welcomed to Salsa Night hosted by the Spanish Club Tuesday. The event featured Argentinian dancer Skarleth Vargas as an instructor for the attendees.


Vargas, originally born in Bolivia but raised in Argentina, is a Ruston resident involved with Louisiana Tech’s Spanish Club. She has worked for a district attorney’s office in Ruston for over a year now, but finds time to display her love for dance at local events and workshops.


After previously working for a non-profit organization at Tech for a few years, she said she gained an interest and a passion for uniting students from all different paths.


“In the five years that I worked for Louisiana Tech, my role was connecting students from different backgrounds and nationalities through recreational activities,” she said. “The hope was to create a community that would provide an environment of extra-curricular activities, but also a friendly environment for people to feel like they can belong and connect with others.”


This is where Vargas found her opportunity to put her dancing abilities to use at Tech.


“One of the activities I picked up there was salsa dancing,” she said. “Later on, I was offered the opportunity to volunteer in the Spanish club with my husband and the idea came out from the club for an activity to share the Latino culture through dance. So I am really glad to help and see the students’ response. Living in these days gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in any culture you choose by the click of a mouse but the personal interaction is just something different.”


The desire to portray Latino culture through dance is also shared by Rachel Madore, secretary and treasurer of the Spanish Club, who said her experiences from her home state, Arizona, influenced her interest in salsa dancing.


“In Arizona, the Hispanic culture is celebrated more openly with festivals and salsa every week,” she said. “I wanted to put on this event to introduce the vibrancy of Spanish culture and dance on our campus, causing people to get out of their comfort zones.”


Madore, a sophomore industrial engineering major, said that Vargas was an integral component of putting the event together.


“We really could not have done this without her enthusiasm and passion for salsa,” she said. “We were so thankful that she was willing and happy to teach and to help us with our club.”


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