Dancers reign on salsa floor

By Chris Estrada

There’s a new king and queen in town.

After Saturday’s salsa competition in the Cabral Center at the O’Bryant African American Institute, freshmen chemical engineering majors Steven Fernandez and Stephanie Bernard twirled away with crowns and two $50 gift certificates to the Prudential Center.

It may not have been a smoky nightclub, and there may have been a DJ instead of a live band, but that didn’t stop the two participating couples from dancing to the spicy salsa music. The women were decked out in glamorous dresses while the men opted for more casual clothes, like plain shirts, jeans and sneakers.

Fernandez said the pairing of him and Bernard was a last-minute decision.

“My original partner ended up going to New York,” Fernandez said. “I’ve been dancing with her for two months and then she told me this past week that she was going back to New York. So I was like [to Stephanie], ‘You wanna go?'”

Bernard accepted the offer to be Fernandez’s partner but said she expected more competitors at the event.

“It was just a spur of the moment,” Bernard said. “We thought there would be a lot more [couples] here.”

With the reggaeton music blaring from the speakers, Luz Mederos, a middler human resources and management major and organizer of the event, said she was pleased with the outcome.

“LASO has been trying to do a Latin Night and somehow incorporate salsa,” she said. “They wanted to raise funds for their future e-board, so this was the best way to have a party, have fun and it’s a good way to raise money.”

Her “team leaders” for the event, sophomore psychology and theater major Yaritza Betancourt and sophomore marketing major Andrea Lalinde, noted despite the organization’s growing presence on campus, LASO still has to deal with a somewhat depleted budget.

“There are other events that the organization wants to hold and we don’t have the budget for it,” Betancourt said. “That’s why we’re holding this event, so we can have money for other events and leave money for next year’s e-team members so they can have something to work with.”

To LASO president Sergio Marrero the party, which also included a performance from reggaeton act A3, was a major accomplishment for his organization considering that the event took only six weeks to put together.

“One thing we did is that we had the dance hall date, and the committee came together and raised some different ideas,” he said. “A reggaeton artist came into the mix

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