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Behind the scenes of “El Baile Latino”

Graphic+created+by+Aidan+Eberspacher.
Graphic created by Aidan Eberspacher.

Before COVID-19, it was common for FHS to host an annual latino dance. Due to COVID-19 restrictions after the pandemic, it seemed nearly impossible to have another dance; however,  

the Spanish Club and Multicultural Club have decided to collaborate and host the Baile Latino on Nov. 3, bringing back the tradition. This dance was designed for Latino students to feel represented and for the non-Latino students to learn about Latin American culture.

Leading up to the dance, the clubs also created a spirit week, which helped to promote the event and increase ticket sales. 

Monday’s theme was “Black and Gold” to show off school pride and colors. Tuesday was Halloween so students and staff were encouraged to wear costumes. Wednesday was “Jersey Day” and Thursday was “Día de los Muertos” or “Day of the Dead.” 

Though the Baile Latino spirit week did not have as much participation from students as the Homecoming dance, it helped to sell more tickets for the dance. 

For most students, the dance was just one more school event, and they probably did not realize the time and effort it took to make it happen behind the scenes. The preparation for the Baile Latino was more than decorations and ticket sales, as it took years to bring back the tradition. 

The only way the Baile Latino came to be was because of Ashley Bignell, sponsor of the Multicultural Club, and Lydia Schaffer, sponsor of the Spanish club. 

“I’ve been working since last February with the administration,” Bignell said. “We had to make the tickets, get somebody to sell the tickets and just get everything done. I don’t think students understand how much work is behind the scenes to make it [the dance] happen.”

Around 95 tickets were sold, but an estimated 60 students attended.

“The energy was amazing,” junior Ana Ventura-Mejia said. “The music was so good. They played a variety of music, and I am so glad they did.”

Instead of a traditional high school dance, the Baile Latino featured Latin music and decorations. According to some students, the Latin community was fairly represented, achieving the whole purpose of the dance.

The Baile Latino was an opportunity for non-hispanic students to experience Latino culture. 

“I thought the dance was super fun!” junior Megan Millard said. “I personally had never been to anything like it and I am really glad I decided to go.”

Though the organizers and sponsors were disappointed that the dance was relatively small, many students who attended actually still enjoyed the experience. 

“It [the dance] was kinda cool because it was a smaller, more intimate gathering and it wasn’t like a huge crowd, and I think it was a lot less anxiety than at a big dance like homecoming or prom,” Bignell said. “But definitely people who came enjoyed themselves and had a good time and for me it [all the effort] was a hundred percent worth it.” 

Even teachers participated by volunteering to chaperone and dance.

“I like all kinds of music from different cultures, and I think it is a lot of fun to dance,” Horning said, “I think it is very common for the Latino community to dance, unlike here [the US] where people stand by the wall or in big groups, and don’t really dance, and I think it gives us a different perspective.”

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About the Contributor
Silenay Ayala Quintero, Staff Writer
Silenay Ayala Quintero is a Fremont high school student, going through her sophomore year. Silenay was born in Cuba and moved to the US when she was only 11 with her mom and little brother in 2019. She joined the multicultural club this year to get more involved. She likes sports and tries to be active most of the time. She´s been a big soccer fan since she was a child, and her favorite team is PSG. Silenay´s main goal is to make her family proud and someday study law, architecture, or business at the University of Michigan, and plans on moving to Spain when she´s older. 
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