Whip, nae nae, and dab are all moves that most teenagers have mastered in today’s culture. However, it is not often that teenagers have an opportunity to learn traditional couples dancing.
At the Western Wayne High School, it is a yearly tradition that students in the Spanish course take Spanish dancing as a part of their curriculum during the fall.
Local dance instructor and studio owner Vince Brust works with the Western Wayne students to teach a variety of traditional Spanish dances such as tango, merengue, mambo, and salsa among others.
The students had about nine sessions with Mr. Brust before debuting their new dance skills for other Spanish classes during the day on Thursday, Nov. 2, in Western Wayne’s newly renovated high school auditorium.
Students performed a variety of the dances they learned for their classmates. They did a choreographed dance with multiple partners and a mambo among other numbers during the day as a practice session for an evening performance.
The Spanish students also gave the night performance on Thursday, Nov. 2, for their friends, family, and members of the community.
All of the students involved enjoyed having the opportunity to learn about this important aspect of Spanish culture.
Junior Brittney Reinert has done Spanish dancing at Western Wayne for two years and she believes this experience has enriched her education.
“It’s more enjoyable than sitting in a classroom,” she explained. “I enjoy getting to move around and learn all of the different dances.”
Sophomore Dillon Dante, who has also participated in Spanish dancing for two years, agrees.
“You get to see a different side of people through working with them in the dance sessions,” he explained. “You also learn trust when you partner in the different dances. Your partner has to rely on you to catch them for certain moves.”
Dillon enjoys Spanish dancing so much that he would go from his study hall to the classes or have his lunch there just to fit it in his schedule this year.
This is because Dillon has Spanish at the end of the day and the dancing is offered in earlier periods.
Dillon said he feels grateful that the district has allowed him the opportunity to participate in performing arts in this manner since he is a dedicated athlete especially to the Wildcat Wrestling team and the Spanish dancing fits best with his schedule.
Senior Bethany DeGroat has enjoyed her experience with Spanish dancing at Western Wayne so much that she likes to try to teach the moves she is learning in school to her friends and family in her spare time.
She cited the tango as a fun yet difficult dance to teach.
Bethany says one of her favorite parts of the classes is having the opportunity to dance with Mr. Brust. She explained how it is especially meaningful to dance with an expert partner.
“He helps you with the dance,” Bethany explained. “It’s fun dancing with someone who’s really into it.”
Spanish teacher Mrs. Elizabeth Sandrowicz feels grateful that the Spanish students have the annual opportunity to enrich their learning of Spanish culture through taking the Spanish dance classes.
“It is really meaningful that our students have the opportunity to learn more about the origins of these traditional Spanish dances from someone as knowledgeable as Mr. Brust.”