NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – The Gallagher Center multipurpose room buzzed with the sounds of Latin music as the Office of Multicultural Affairs hosted its latest Diversity Topic Thursday.
The two-week session featured Sarah Haykel, life coach and creator of Salsa for the Soul.
At the free event, students learned about the history of Latin Caribbean music and dance. Session one explained how the blend of musical origins from Native, African and European styles combined in the Latin Caribbean to produce a distinct sound. This sound has even influenced modern music, providing a flair to Billboard hits.
While session two covered the history of Latin Caribbean dancing, the real goal was to use dance as relationship advice. Students were encouraged to get on their feet and partner up. These partner dances aimed to teach the students how to maintain a positive relationship, both in dance and real life.
Haykel explained the push and pull of dancing as the push and pull of relationship. Trust must exist between partners, and miscommunication can lead to problems. Boundaries reign above all.
As students slowly learned how to lead and follow with their partners, barriers began to break down. Hesitation gave way to smooth footwork as Haykel led them through the basics.
With this quick lesson, participants left with a greater understanding of how to deal with relationships, and a few good bonus moves for the dancefloor.
The Office of Multicultural Affairs hosts Diversity Topic Thursdays at 2:15 p.m. throughout the semester. Those that come to the events are entered to win a 32 inch television.