ASU Salsa Club brings Latin Sol Festival to the Valley of the Sun

Latin Sol spreads the beauty of Latin dance for the second year

Students in the ASU Salsa Club are helping ASU cut loose by holding the Latin Sol Festival this spring, bringing students out for a weekend of good times and  the beauty of Latin dance culture.

Luis Lopez, a mechanical engineering junior and president of the Salsa Club, said the organization strives to share Latin social dancing with the students and faculty of ASU. 

"The festival is a three-day event composed of socials and performance dance workshops, lectures by visiting guest artists, evening social dancing, dance performances and more," Lopez said. 

This year's event is a considerable expansion on the inaugural Latin Sol, which took place in April 2017. Lat year, it was a free, one day Latin dance festival created in affiliation with the ASU School of Film, Dance and Theatre's Urban Sol initiative

"Latin Sol encourages exposure to learning with local and out-of-state artists to provide varied teaching perspectives while experiencing crossover interactions with multiple dance communities," Lopez said. 

Lopez said the Salsa Club hosts bi-weekly socials every month in the ASU Performing and Media Arts Building at which they give lessons to those unfamiliar with Latin dance and prepare for club meetings.

A video of what students can expect at the Urban Sol events. 

Brandon Ng, engineering management junior and a member of the Salsa Club, said the goal of Latin Sol is to give the members of the ASU community a chance to learn Latin social dancing within their own comfortable learning space at ASU while also bringing together others from the surrounding community. 

"That goal still stands," Ng said. "This year, Latin Sol is still free, but now it's a three-day event filled to the brim with dancing."

Ng said there is no dance experience required to attend Latin Sol. Instead he encourages students to come out and celebrate with their friends in a space in which they should feel comfortable learning about a culture that they may not be familiar with.

LaVele Ross, a volunteer for the event, said he started to get involved with the Salsa Club through his passion for dancing and Latin culture. 

"The Latin culture runs deep and the beautiful part about it is its diversity," Ross said. "Once people realize that while we may physically look different, we can see that we all come from the same place."

Ross, who now teaches his own salsa classes, said the event's inclusivity was the same reason he continued to be involved in the club and their future endeavors despite not attending ASU. 

"Even with some of the salsa festivals and congresses I've went to, they don't offer the question and answer sessions or the musical classes like Latin Sol does," Ross said. "Maybe it's because it's assumed that the dancers at these festivals already know these things. With that being said, they are very important and great to have so that people can better understand the music, movement and culture."

Those interested in attending can register here. The event will take place from April 6 at 7 p.m. to April 8 at 10 p.m in the ASU Student Pavillion on the Tempe campus.

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