Students and music lovers alike gathered at the Titan Student Union’s ABC Pavilion on Saturday night to experience an “evening of pure magic” hosted by the CSUF Salsa Club.
The sold-out event ran for nearly five hours and featured a fundamental salsa dance lesson taught by sixth-year CSUF Salsa Club instructor Kazumi DeVries. The event featured a live band performance from Boogaloo Assassins and music by DJ Jimmy. Guests were also provided with complimentary refreshments from event sponsor Jarritos.
Boogaloo Assassins, a 12-member Latin band from Los Angeles, looks to reinterpret the exuberant sounds and culture of Latin boogaloo, Latin soul and Latin funk in today’s era. The band garnered much success from its 2013 debut album, “Old Love Dies Hard,” and currently has a second album in the works, which is sure to liven up any dance floor.
The preparation for Saturday night’s event was a four-month long process and required a major helping hand from one of the club’s vendors, Reflejo Dance Company, in order to book a performance from Boogaloo Assassins.
With 400 in attendance, guests of all skill levels and age groups flooded the Pavilion’s newly upgraded floor as they danced the night away to a wide variety of music genres including salsa, bachata and Latin soul. Throughout the evening, a rotation of Boogaloo Assassins and DJ Jimmy did an excellent job of keeping dancers entertained with their Latin flare and catchy beats.
CSUF Salsa Club President Joshua Mendoza, who plans to graduate from CSUF this semester with a master’s degree in information systems and decisions sciences, revived and co-founded the club back in 2010 along with DeVries.
Mendoza’s appreciation for salsa stems from the dance’s vibrancy and ability to bring people together.
“It (salsa) really brings out your confidence, and it’s a social dance, so you get to meet a lot of people,” Mendoza said. “It’s just a really all-around fun social activity.”
Without being fluent in Spanish, DeVries discovered her passion for salsa music and dancing as a student at Irvine Valley College and Cal State Long Beach. She attended weekly classes that helped her relieve the stress of being as a student.
“I went back to school to get a degree and I was taking 23 units,” DeVries said. “I needed something to let my stress out and salsa was there.”
At the end of the night, not only was Mendoza proud to say that the turnout exceeded all expectations, but he said he also understood the positive impact an event like this can have on students and community members.
“Our events really reflect the student body. It’s so diverse, just like Cal State Fullerton, and you just see everyone from all walks of life dancing with each other on a Saturday night, something you may never see anywhere else on campus or in Fullerton,” Mendoza said.
Mendoza hopes the CSUF Salsa Club, which currently has over 150 members, continues to grow and prosper even after he graduates at the end of the semester.
The club’s next event will be its 5th Annual CSUF Salsa Showcase, which lands March 26 and will begin at 8 p.m. in the Titan Student Union’s ABC Pavilion.