Boston Salsa University heats up with Picante
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In the video above, visit Boston Salsa University’s first beginner’s class of the fall.
“Dancing is in my blood,” says Stephanie Ramones, vice president of Boston Salsa University. A Venezuelan native who grew up in Miami, Ramones (CAS’10) also sees salsa as therapeutic: “It’s a stress reliever to do something outside of classes that doesn’t burden the mind and makes the body flow.”
Gearing up for its second semester after starting last January, Boston Salsa University is making noise. Ramones is one of the club’s instructors; between 50 and 100 students attend the thrice weekly salsa lessons — beginners on Mondays, intermediates on Saturdays, and open studio on Fridays. Now the group is ready to pull off its first major event, Salsa Picante, an all-day salsa affair set for tomorrow, Saturday, September 26.
Salsa Picante welcomes International Latin Music Hall of Fame inductee Izzy “Mr. Salsa” Sanabria, who popularized the term “salsa” with his flashy poster and record cover designs. Sanabria will lead an afternoon session with a talk on New York City’s music explosion in the 1970s, followed by a screening of his documentary, Our Latin Thing (1972), a concert film that demonstrates how Latino urban lifestyle was influenced by salsa. Sanabria will be available after the screening to sign posters.
Later that evening, the music takes over, with live performances by DJ Hernan and La Timbistica, as well as local dance groups Rumba Y Timbal, JJ Latin Dancers, Salsa Y Control, and Mambo Passion. Everyone is encouraged to take to the dance floor; the event will kick off with a beginner’s lesson. Dances with Boston’s premiere salseros and salseras will be auctioned off during the evening as well.
Although new, Boston Salsa University has already received awards from the Student Activities Office, including “Best New Student Organization” and the “Deneen Zarada Student Leadership Award” to club president Nadia Ouhib (ENG’11).
“We want everyone hooked on salsa,” says Ouhib.
Salsa Picante takes place tomorrow, Saturday, September 26, at the George Sherman Union Ballroom, 775 Commonwealth Ave. The day session is free, including Izzy Sanabria’s lecture, film screening, and reception, beginning at 1 p.m. The evening session starts at 7 p.m., and is $5 for BU students and $10 for non-BU attendees. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket counter on the second floor of the GSU.
Robin Berghaus can be reached at email@example.com.