Students bring heat to Noche de Cultura

By Stephanie Guevara

A variety of dances from hip-hop and belly dancing, to danzon and ballet folklorico rose the temperature during the Dance Department’s Second Annual Noche de Cultura on May 9.

Although it was the Second Annual Noche De Cultura, East Los Angeles College had celebrated this event for the past 45 years but with a different name.

The Director of the Danzoneros, Rumberos and Salseros, Rick Crawford, said this year was the first time the Dance Department sold tickets for an event.

ELAC’s hip-hop class opened the night and performed to the beat of “This Is How My Drummer Drums.”

Je’Yeen Lewis, a student from ELAC’s hip-hop class, said it was the first time she performed in Noche De Cultura.  Lewis said the night was awesome because different cultures were brought together.  “It was good to see all cultures together, it showed the type of community ELAC is,” Lewis said.

Past performances by the Dance Department were free. Crawford said there was even a pre-sale for tickets and all tickets were sold out.

Crawford was proud of the dance professors because the performances the dancers gave was a reflection of their teachings. “Student really stepped it up tonight and the invited groups were very professional,” Crawford said.

The Danzoneros, Rumberos and Salseros performed a Rhumba Casino and a Danzon that brought a sensual side to the night.

The most cheered folkloric dance was from Las Estrellas. Las Estrellas are a group composed of girls from Northridge whose ages range from four to adult.  The style of folkloric dance they performed comes from the Baja California, Mexico. Throughout the performance, the audience was ecstatic.

Next to take the stage was the Mariachi Mexico De Nacho Ramirez. The Mariachi Mexico De Nacho Ramirez took the stage and made the Recital Hall shake.

The Mariachi performed authentic well-known Mexican pieces. To accompany the songs were ballet folkloric dancers Miguel Angel Diaz and Rosalinda Rocha. Rocha, a Guanajuato, Mexico native, is an ELAC alumni.

Rocha explained the attire the folkloric dancers wore. Each state of Mexico has different attire that describes the region the dancers are from.

As Mariachi Mexico performed Vicente Fernandez’s song “Volver,” the audience’s voices filled the building as many sang along. Mariachi Mexico left the audience wanting more. Shouts for an encore arose and the Mariachi responded with a popular song, “El Mariachi Loco.”

All the dancers came together again on stage.

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