Dancing the Surrey salsa

January 26, 2006, vol. 35, no. 2
By Terry Lavender

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Mingled with the droning of lecturers, the ringing of cell phones and the chatter of students, there's a new sound being heard at the Simon Fraser University Surrey campus on Mondays and Thursdays.

It's the beat of Latin dance rhythms and it's the sound of success for the SFU Surrey salsa club, now in its second year.

With more than 60 members, the club is the most popular student organization at Surrey, “which is interesting, because we're such a niche organization,” says Randy Pante, one of the club's organizers.

The club's popularity has even spread to the main SFU campus, he says. “About half of our members are from the Burnaby campus, which is surprising because SFU Burnaby also offers salsa, through SFU recreation.”

Second-year student Aleks Cecar started the club last year. She says it originated in an orientation exercise where the team leader asked the new students to think of a club they would like to start.

“I wanted to show what salsa did for me,” she says. Though the club started slowly, with only eight to 10 people by the end of the first semester, the numbers grew after that. “It's been going really strong since then,” she says.

Pante says students are attracted to the club because of its lack of formal structure and its emphasis on fun.

“A lot of people say they prefer SFU Surrey because we run our club in a more fun environment, rather than a very structured class setting,” Pante says. “And that's what a lot of people want in a club. They want to learn how to dance, how to meet new people and they want to have fun.”

The SFU Surrey salsa club meets in room 630 at the Surrey campus, every Monday and Thursday at 5:30 p.m. More information can be found at www.sfusurreysalsa.com

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