Fun, Fitness, Fiesta


The DMAE Salsa Club is one hour of engaging, energy-packed activity. Anyone walking by Ms. Nieto’s room at the end of the day on Thursdays will hear the bright tones of Hispanic trumpets and the rhythmic heartbeat of drums. Inside you will find a small group of  students stepping in time with the lively music and a motivated teacher leading the ensemble.

“I want students to have a positive experience while promoting exercise and an active lifestyle,” Spanish teacher Mariama Nieto said.

The club was started by Ms. Nieto five years ago as a way for students to learn more about the Salsa culture. Unfortunately, Ms. Nieto could not continue if the following years but has brought back this year and believes it helps students to end their Thursdays with a chance to unwind. Ms. Nieto hopes the club will continue to grow.

“It is important for the students to learn in a way that is fun and relaxing,” Ms. Nieto said.

There are currently nine students in the club. A typical club period consists of following Ms. Nieto’s direction and cues, dancing, and learning the choreography. Students either do dances in groups of two or as an entire ensemble.

One member, freshmen Dana DeMountagnac, comes from a Caribbean background yet has a huge appreciation for the culture of Salsa.

“Dancing is a world-wide language,” said Dana. “I would recommend the club to anyone.”

The club also promotes pride within Hispanic culture through the art of dance. Salsa is an amalgamation of Hispanic dances with influences from many countries, mostly Puerto Rico and Cuba. The style was developed in New York City in the mid-1970s and, like the sauce, salsa is a zesty mix of different ingredients. The style of dance is representative of our school community because diverse backgrounds of the students come together in a cohesive manner.

Ms. Nieto wants to showcase Hispanic culture while encouraging students with all different ethnicities to become part of the club.