Students Tear Up the Dance Floor at Latin Heritage Month’s Noche Caliente

What better way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month than by dancing Salsa? On Oct. 5 from 7-10 PM in the Student Events Room, students did just that at the WEB, Power 88.1, and the Latin Heritage Month Committee’s “Noche Caliente,” which translates to “hot night” in Spanish.

Christine Fils-Aime and Jessica Baizan, WEB’s Multi-Cultural Co-Chairs, organized this event and did so with ease despite this being their first time doing so. While they’re both woman of color, Fils-Aime being African-American and Baizan being Mexican, they both have the experience and zeal to inform students about other cultures.

Baizan applied to be a Multi-Cultural Chair after being attracted to the events the previous WEB chairs had held on campus.

“I feel like there’s a lot to show on campus. Besides race there’s a lot of diversity in genders and sexualities and I wanted to bring that out if I was chosen,” Baizan said. “I feel that being a Multicultural Chair has opportunities to explore and many options to pick out of and incorporate different cultures.”

Fils-Aime emphasized that meeting new people, establishing friendships and networking really bring these events success.

“Mingling for the students and networking is what this school is about,” Fils-Aime said. “Being at a community college is about the community and whom you’re surrounded with because those are the people who will lift you up in the future. I just love events like this.”

“Noche Caliente” lived up to its name: it was truly a hot night. The night began slowly, with only a few students dancing, but as time progressed, dozens of students filled the dance floor

“Even though tonight is really just a dance party, it’s more than just a dance party,” Fils-Aime said. “[Attendees] get to meet people, they get to have fun, they get to eat great food.”

While it was obvious that some students were experienced salsa dancers, that didn’t stop others from wanting to learn.

Jihad Abdulsabar, a first-year student, attended the event and had a great time.

“I thought the event was pretty good! I thought it was pretty awesome in general,” Abdulsabar said. “I’d definitely come to more of these events.”

The night included a lot more than just food and dancing. In addition to Power 88.1’s Spanish music, there was a photo booth, Spanish food catered from Don Coqui, a churro bar, a Mexican candy bar, mocktails, and Frankie Negron, a Grammy-award nominee.

Similar to “Noche Caliente,” they’re also for informing students about cultures. Upcoming events include a hunger banquet, a Mexican Posada, and lectures.

“I’m very happy. In my head I thought that the event was going to be more centered towards people who were going to classes in the afternoon, which are older, but because we had the ceremony for the Scholarship Dinner, they mostly came here. I’m glad how it came out because there are a lot of people,” Baizan said. “I just want people to have fun and if they have any feedback or have anything they would like to see they should come to WEB and ask for myself or Christine.”

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