SPOTLIGHT: Take a chance, learn to dance!

Image via Thinkstock
Image via Thinkstock

DSU Salsa Club promises to spice up campus life

By Aaron Guillen, Staff Reporter

For those who have visited the New Westminster campus, it’s impossible to avoid seeing students dancing in the atrium. Whether it be at New Westminster or David Lam, The DSU Salsa Club, one of the two dance clubs at Douglas, prides itself in the strong representation it holds on campus. Thanks to Sharinder Riat, President, and Abraham Castanon, Vice President, the club has been growing at an alarming rate.

“This semester we had hundreds of new students sign up to our club and roughly 20 members per class. Furthermore, we have also seen an increase of members coming out to support our parties and workshops,” said Riat.

Notably, the dance club has taught choreography to new students during the annual EDGE event, performed during the opening of the Sol Garden at David Lam, and volunteered at the Century House Association by giving the elderly a dance lesson. The DSU Salsa Club started up seven years ago, but within the past two years, under the leadership from Riat and Castanon, the club has found an irreplaceable home in Douglas—perhaps even for those who don’t attend the college.

“Some of our members, who aren’t Douglas students, want to come to our classes because, not only do they want to learn from us how to dance, but also the friendly environment we have created. Some of the members come to our lessons even though they don’t have class that day,” said Castanon.

By attending dance lessons hosted by the DSU Dance Club, students are able to meet new faces, learn new moves and routines, and get their feet moving. While new college students are known to succumb to the freshman 15, Castanon hopes students find an exciting way to exercise in one of their weekly meetings.

“With the salsa dance, there is a lot of movement involved—many of the moves require speed, strength,  and coordination,” comments Castanon.

“By repeating the same patterns of movement dancers sometimes get exhausted quickly. Even if you don’t do cardio, you can still have an enjoyable time. Salsa dancing is just a compliment to staying fit, but it is a good start for someone who needs some motivation to stay active.”

Every semester, the DSU Salsa Club hosts fundraising parties after midterms. On November 4, they will be hosting a Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) party in New Westminster’s DSU Building. For the lessons itself, salsa and bachata are held on Fridays from 2–4 p.m. in the Dance Studio, and new to this semester, casino rueda (group salsa) is taught on Wednesdays from 5:30–7:30 p.m.

“While I am a part of the club and continue to stay because of my passion for dance and music, what really makes me stay is the friendly fun environment that has been created […] these members have become my circle of friends,” said Riat.

“Having a leadership role in this club has really developed my social skills, and as a Sports Science student, I’m able to utilize my knowledge when helping to prepare the class, or helping those who may have some trouble with the dance movement at hand. Why not join? The lessons are free for students, you learn a lot, create friendships, and as a group we go out a lot to other salsa events in the city, go out for dinners, and we throw amazing school parties.”