¡Arriba! Special guests Micai Blackwell and Joshua Romero showcased the Latin culture through an interactive dance seminar on April 6. Held in the Black Box Theater, students were transported to Latin America during their X-Block, in a unique exploration of dance and culture.
Blackwell, former dance instructor at Sage, introduced various types of Latin dancing, including the Tango, Samba, Paso Doble, and Cha Cha. Her Latin influence comes from Donald McKayle, a famous choreographer who she used to work with.
Blackwell said, “my favorite thing about Latin dance is the music. I love that within the musical structure there are syncopated rhythms…it makes moving to the musicians’ work very fun and supports a celebratory environment within a social setting.”
Blackwell explained the mood and style of each dance through a compilation of video clips and also performed excerpts with Joshua Romero.
Romero is a dance graduate from UCI and the creator of FUSE, a local dance company based in Orange County. Together, Blackwell and Romero created an entertaining and educational session featuring many iconic styles of dance.
Next, students took the stage as they learned to dance the Cha Cha.
Freshman Talia Jacnuk said, “it was a bit difficult at first…but once you let loose and felt the music, then it began to feel natural.”
The workshop had a great turnout, uniting students from Dance and Spanish classes along with faculty members in a fun, cross-cultural experience.