Latin music could be heard throughout the Student Commons top floor on Sept. 19 as the AC Salsa club started up for the first time since the summer break.
“It started in the winter semester last year,” explained Thomas Lozano, second-year computer programming student. “I arrived alone to Canada [so] I didn’t know anyone at that point and so instead of going out to meet people I [decided to] create my own dancers.”
Lozano came from Chile, where he had earned a teaching certificate to add onto his 11 years of dance experience, which gave him the ability to start his own club.
“I think it comes naturally at some point,” Lozano said. “First you start dancing and having fun then you go to performing, you get to enjoy the performance and then you get to compete and if you really enjoy it [it] gets to a point [where] you see details when [others] are dancing.
Lozano explained that a few years ago his coach had asked him to teach his class while he was away, that was when he [Lozano] realized that was something he wanted to do.
“Like most of the dancers, you really get a taste and then you really start going social dancing – a lot,” he said. “Some people never move from the social dancing, some people like me keep going and start teaching at some point.”
Lozano had continued to teach until he came to Canada where he created AC Salsa.
Any student or staff member with an Algonquin connection is able to join the club.
“It’s awkward but it’s fun, most people will say ‘I have two left feet’ or ‘I’m awkward’,” said Lozano. “Everyone is awkward, everyone is uncomfortable, this is something that takes you out of your comfort zone and pushes you to do something different, but after the first class, everyone has so much fun [and] if you just keep going you will understand why so many people dance.”
Lozano’s class ran from 6-8p.m. and about halfway through the class, the music had brought in two more salsa dancers: Suchali Mahatan and Micah John, both first-year human resource management students with prior experience in salsa.
Lozano was very welcoming to them and organized the class so everyone was at the same pace.
Palmer Chow, second-year business management student, explained that he was drawn to the club because he had watched salsa performances and had participated in the City Hall salsa dance lessons they offered in the summer.
Chow is looking forward to the next class and is excited to be able to learn how to dance without having to spend money.
“I came here to meet a great teacher, make some new friends and I enjoyed it – especially the music of the salsa dance,” he said.