Maria Maldonado (left) teaches a student how to tango

On Friday, Sept. 26, the Latin American Student Association (LASA) continued Latin Heritage Month with a dance party at the University Center in Kochoff Room C.

The dance party consisted of not only dancing, however, teaching the dance moves as well. There were several types of dancing such as the salsa dance, Bachata, tango, merengue and cumbia dancing.

Maria Maldonado was one of the teachers at the party; giving mini-lessons to those who did not know anything about Latin dancing in general. Maldonado learned how to dance from a co-worker at a fitness facility she used to work at.

“Anyone can dance,” she says. “We are more than happy to teach people to dance. However, one of the most difficult aspects about teaching someone to dance is the fact that they don’t want to dance because it’s out of his or her comfort zone.”

One of the dancers was Mark Brown and he thinks it’s great to share the Latin Culture here at the University of Michigan – Dearborn. He says, “We are melting pot here at the UM – Dearborn. There are students that attend whose families come from different parts of the world and to share the culture can be very exciting.”

Alexis Thompson from the Office of Student Engagement said she joined the party because, “it’s important that no matter what group you’re apart of on campus, or what you’re doing on campus, it’s significant to get involved and experience the culture that Dearborn has.”

Student Advisor of LASA, Candido Condori, says he was very surprised by the turnout of the event. “I am surprised how many people showed up considering we are a new organization this year.”

Condori also thinks dancing can bring people together, he continues, “I think it’s the universal language. You can see how diversity played its part in this party.”

To learn about more upcoming events for Latin Heritage Month, visit LASA’s Facebook page at or email