Davis United Methodist Church launches series of salsa classes
Salsa dancing, a popular style of dance known around the world for its lively rhythms and complex moves, has a large following in Davis. The Davis Graduate on Russell Boulevard, commonly referred to as ‘The Grad,’ hosts salsa dancing three nights a week.
For Davis students and residents curious about salsa dancing but not quite ready to dance at The Grad, the Davis United Methodist Church is offering an introduction to the world of salsa dancing. Beginning Sunday, Feb. 26, the church will offer a progressive series of salsa dance classes called “Club Ready Salsa.” The classes meet every Sunday afternoon from 3:30 to 5 p.m. and will run through Apr. 9. The church encourages anyone to attend, and no partner is necessary.
“Those who make each of the 7 classes can expect to enter any area salsa dance club comfortably and with a joy for dancing salsa,” a statement on the church website said.
The classes will be led by Pastor Brandon Austin, a salsero (male salsa dancer) with 15 years of experience.
“I’ve been a salsa dancer for 15 years, and salsa teacher for about 12 — largely in the Sacramento area,” Austin said. “I like [salsa dancing] because of the friendships it creates; it is a great way to meet people.”
Austin explained that through teaching salsa classes, he hopes to build an inclusive and affirming community of dance.
“In these challenging political times, I’m hoping we can use events like this to keep us joyful,” Austin said.
Danny Mejach, a third-year communication major and member of the ‘Baile de Fuego’ club at UC Davis, loves social dancing.
“Any type of dancing is a stress reliever and a good workout,” Mejach said. “You meet a lot of people and it’s a really healthy way to distract yourself from school or anything that you are stressed about […] It’s this really cool energy between the people once you get into it.”
Mejach believes that dance lessons are supportive environments for beginning dancers.
“Nobody is going to be judging you, we all started somewhere,” Mejach said. “Just try, give it a chance, hang out with people who will help you improve, and don’t give up if you like it. Once you get into it you’re going to love it, you’re going to feel free like you’re flying.”
Juan Carrero, a third-year environmental design major, enjoys the cultural aspect of salsa dancing.
“I think it’s the embodiment of Latino culture and dancing.” Carrero said. “It’s probably the most reflective form of dancing. The classes sound interesting.”
The church asks for $5 donations from attendees. Proceeds will be divided evenly between two or three causes which have yet to be determined, but so far include the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Written by: Raul Castellanos Jr — email@example.com