Posted on March 4, 2013
Paraíso Latino is a well-established dance group which began in 2008, created by Jessica Matos ’10 and Josie Mar Diaz ‘10. The group started out strong and quickly gained popularity, spreading Latin culture to the rest of the Wheaton campus. Since its beginning, the group has not required its members to have significant Latin dance training; the main requirement for a dancer to make the team is having the ability to feel the rhythms in the music and use their bodies as a means of cultural expression.
Each year, Paraíso Latino performs in many different venues on campus, including their annual show in Balfour in November, Café con Leche. During this event, audience members not only get to experience some excellent dance performances, but they also get to taste some delicious Latin food, allowing them to dive into different cultures in more ways than one. Over the years, Paraíso Latino has embarked on a variety of dance styles, such as salsa, merengue, bachata, belly dancing, reggaeton, hip-hop, and even contemporary. With all student-choreographed pieces, group members have the opportunity to fully express themselves and share particular dance traditions.
With seven seniors graduating this May, the group is looking for new members and interest for the years to come. Do you think you have what it takes to be a part of the Paraíso family? Be sure to try out for the group the next time auditions are held. Don’t have any dance experience? No problem! Come to any one of the Latin dance workshops being held in the next few weeks in the Balfour Dance Studio: Sunday March 3, Sunday March 24, and Sunday March 31 all taking place from 5:00-7:00. Don’t miss out on this excellent opportunity to learn some of the steps featured in this year’s successful Festival of Dance, or just to take the time to dance with some friends.
Questions about Paraíso Latino? Contact either of the current co-directors of the group, Alison von Rohr and Deisi Cuate.