Latin Rhythm UCF returns to campus image

Latin Rhythm members dancing salsa on UCF’s main campus before the pandemic hit in March of 2020.  The group is now back on campus this semester offering free sessions in front of the Addition Arena on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9p.m. 

Moving to the beat of a drum one foot at a time is happening every week in the heart of UCF campus. 

Latin Rhythm UCF is back in action this month, hosting salsa and bachata classes every week on Tuesdays and Thursday at 9 p.m. in front of Addition Financial Arena. The classes are free and no prior experience to participate is needed. 

Carolina Reyes, Latin Rhythm president and junior industrial engineering major said it was important to the group to host classes in some form despite the pandemic being a factor this year. 

“We wanted to make sure as an organization that we were still being safe and enforcing COVID-19 regulations, but also providing everyone participating with a chance to really feel Latin dance and have some fun outside of just classes,” Reyes said.

Latin Rhythm board members said they look to help students learn more about culture through dance teaching basics to advanced dancing in salsa and bachata.  

Alyssa Oliveria, Latin Rhythm vice president and junior clinical psychology major, said she joined the club her freshman year because she always liked to dance and wanted to be a part of an organization that made her feel closer to her culture.

“This club means everything to me,” Oliveria said. “The club has helped keep me sane through the stresses of life and I know it can help others.”

Oliveria expressed her thoughts on the importance of coming out of her shell and how Latin Rhythm did just that for her. Oliveria said Latin dance can help others who struggle with being social in the midst of the pandemic. 

Gabby Cuellar, junior integrated business major, said she appreciates the fact Latin Rhythm is continuing to host classes and she initially joined the club this semester because she always wanted to learn salsa. 

“Latin Rhythm is unique, because UCF students get to learn about a different culture through a different medium … dance,” Cuellar said. 

Due to COVID-19, everyone must wear a mask, social distance and if you want to participate in a partner dance, you must bring your own partner. 

“Dancing is a great way to express yourself in a new way,” Reyes said. “Latin Rhythm connects your body movements with how you’re feeling and that is the magic within Latin dance.” 

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