Dance club brings Latin flavor to campus
The club caters to dancers of all different experience levels.
Nov. 02, 2010
The self-proclaimed sexiest club on campus is spicing up MU and promoting diversity through dance.
The Latin Dance Club encourages people of all experience levels to come learn social Latin dances.
“We love to dance, and we want to make sure people on campus have a chance to experience what we have come to love,” President David Mueller said.
He said the club requires $25 in dues per semester to pay an instructor, who teaches primarily social dances.
“The paid instructor brings years of experience,” Mueller said. “He usually teaches Salsa, Merengue and Bachata.”
Mueller said this year the club has about 50 members who consistently come to practice, but the number has fluctuated since its beginnings in 2004.
“The club once had 130 to 150 people,” Mueller said. “This year we are trying to raise membership by making sure the practices have a convenient location and meeting time.”
He said they try to promote the club in other ways too, including T-shirts, flyers and fundraisers.
“A key promotion we had this year was Columbia Dance Festival which was a free dance festival organized by MUDRA (MU Dance and Recreation Association),” Mueller said.
He said the dance festival helped promote learning dance for a social purpose.
“We see a lot of members in the community,” Mueller said.
Mueller said many members dance socially at places like The Blue Fugue and Eastside Tavern. One of the most important goals of the club is to promote diversity.
“Some Hispanic people come, but people come from all kinds of backgrounds to learn more about Latin culture and dancing,” Mueller said.
Sophomore Robert Harvey said he became interested in the dance club as a way to meet new people and experience culture.
“I find the people here are more fun and mature than elsewhere on campus,” Harvey said. “Through the club, MU students can experience diversity and learn a useful social skill.”
Harvey said what has kept him coming back over the years are the exciting community events.
“I would definitely encourage people to come to Eastside Tavern on Wednesday nights,” Harvey said.
Event coordinator Maddie Blasberg said Wednesday nights at Eastside Tavern feature Latin dancing and no experience is necessary to join in the fun.
“We always encourage members to go into Columbia and bring their love for Latin Dancing to the public,” Blasberg said.
She explained how most people come in with no experience whatsoever.
“A lot of people come in with no experience at all and others come with a lifetime of experience,” Blasberg said.
One unique aspect of the dance club is they make sure to take time and get new members up to speed on dances and steps they miss. Blasberg stressed the importance of making the club accessible to people of every experience level.
“Our primary goal is to teach people of every skill level Latin dancing,” Blasberg said. “This club is a great way to get out and meet people and do something fun and sexy.”
The Latin Dance Club meets 7 p.m. every Thursday in the Mark Twain Ballroom in Memorial Union.