On Saturday, Sept. 27, Dance Moab will be hosting a Community Potluck at the Moab Valley Multicultural Center to present and support Moab’s Community Funded Children’s Dance Team “Salsa Picante”; and Kokopelli Tropical, Moab’s Community Salsa Band.
The Salsa Picante dancers, a group of talented third- and fourth-graders, will also be leading a half-hour beginner salsa lesson at 5:30 p.m., and live music by Kokopelli Tropical begins at 6 p.m.
Everyone is encouraged to bring a dish, their own beverage, and a smile. Donations will be greatly appreciated and will be used to help supply the young dance team with opportunities to learn from guest instructors, support travel to events outside of Moab, and purchase gear and dance equipment, including mirrors and black light bulbs to outfit the Club Red teen center for future rehearsals and performances.
“The [dance] knowledge is in my head,” dance instructor and event coordinator Rita Maldonado said. “Therefore, it costs nothing to give. In order to offer free classes, I needed to find a location that would donate space without charging. Club Red offered their space for the team to practice without charge, so there’s no reason to charge money for the classes or the dance team if it cost nothing for me.”
The Salsa Picante performance team began as a Beacon Afterschool Program “Intro to Latin Dance” last spring at the Moab Charter School. The team is made up of seven young ladies who expressed disappointment that the class was going to end as the summer approached. They committed to practicing twice a week throughout the summer and into the fall in order to continue learning. Now the team of young dancers has been working on its current choreography since the beginning of summer and is excited to perform for the community.
“I came to Moab wanting to spread the spark of passion for Latin dance, and these young ladies picked it right up, stoked it, and allowed each tiny spark to become their own raging inferno,” Maldonado said. “When I saw the excitement building, I wanted to keep the momentum. So Salsa Picante was born as a permanent fixture in Moab.”
This is an opportunity to show support for the young ladies as they put their finishing touches on preparations for their performance as opening act in the upcoming Dancing with the Moab Stars event on Oct 17, 7 p.m. at Star Hall.
“The girls’ parents have thanked me for doing this for the community, but I find myself thanking them twice as much for allowing their children to take advantage of the free lessons and opportunities I’m offering,” Maldonado said. “It is like an artist who is constructing a mural in a public place, and has been given the materials and the location on which to create the art. I have a vision for a great project, and the community of Magical Moab is providing me with a way realize it.”
Kokopelli Tropical, formed in the winter of 2013, rehearses once a week and holds at least one fundraising event a month for Salsa Picante. These events spread the passion for Latin dance and music in the community-at-large, while also helping the talented young dancers purchase items like new ballroom dance shoes. The Moab-esque salsa band is complete with a harmonica and flute for a horn section, playing salsa and mamba versions of songs like the Pink Panther and Hotel California.
To find out more about affordable social dance opportunities for children and adults in Moab, “like” Dance Moab on Facebook or email email@example.com to get on the mailing list.
Talented third- and fourth-graders to lead salsa lesson prior to show and potluck
I came to Moab wanting to spread the spark of passion for Latin dance, and these young ladies picked it right up, stoked it, and allowed each tiny spark to become their own raging inferno. When I saw the excitement building, I wanted to keep the momentum. So Salsa Picante was born as a permanent fixture in Moab.
What: Salsa Picante Community Potluck
When: Saturday, Sept. 27, 5:30 p.m.
Where: Moab Valley Multicultural Center, 156 N. 100 West