Salsa Under the Stars provides a night of dance, discovery for MTSU students

Photo and story by Jessica Knoble / Contributing Writer

In celebrating Hispanic Culture this month, Middle Tennessee State University has organized many events for the education and entertainment of the campus and its surrounding community. Thursday night belonged to the Salsa Under the Stars event, organized by the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership.

On Thursday night, a number of students and community members from different backgrounds and ages gathered under the string lights in front of the MTSU Health Wellness and Recreation Center. The students exchanged uneasy glances — learning an unfamiliar dance with strangers can be a scary thought. However, the night went from lost looks to bright eyes as classical Spanish music filled the lawn, and people learned a new form of dance they’ve never encountered before.

Students and community members learn how to salsa dance outside of the MTSU Rec Center in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on September 21, 2017. (Jessica Knoble / MTSU Sidelines)

“I learned about Hispanic culture and their stylistic approaches toward how they express themselves,” said Sam Hollingsworth, a freshman computer science major. “There’s no other experience like it. This dancing style is completely unique.”

Many people of the community learned that night that sometimes trying new things will result in new discoveries. A few people there were already experienced at salsa dancing, but were even able to further educate themselves on the techniques and dancing style.

Jazmine Booker, a freshman nursing major, already had past experience with salsa dancing, but said she still learned some tactics from the night.

MTSU students and Murfreesboro community members practice salsa dancing outside of the MTSU Rec Center in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on September 21, 2017. (Jessica Knoble / MTSU Sidelines)

“I learned a lot of new spin moves, different ways to get better at salsa,” Booker said.

After the dancing, the night ended with chips and salsa — a reward for the leap of courage many students took that night to try something new and learn about the different cultures around them. Salsa Under the Stars taught the community an awareness of Hispanic culture as well as how to light up the dance floor with newly learned dance moves.

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