UVU’s newly hatched Bachata club held their first grand opening club event in the Grande Ballroom Feb. 3. Created through a love and need of latin dance, club president Margarita Aguilar and faculty advisor Jose Santiago were ecstatic at the turnout for their first event, despite the fact that it took a while to get the ball rolling.
“This club was created at club rush a week and a half ago, and this is our first activity,” Santiago said. “So [the club officers] are very brave to have an activity already so we’ll see what happens. Also, with this kind of music a lot people are going to be Latinos and, while it’s sad to say,” he chuckled, “Latinos are always late, so we will see how it goes.”
After waiting for an initial crowd to show up, the grand opening began with a basic Dominican Bachata lesson given by the owner of Suave Dance Company, a local dance studio in Orem.
Frank “Frankie” Amparo, the dance company’s creator and owner, lead the dance lesson for the opening event and was joined by a few of his own students. Amparo is rumored to possibly be a recurring guest teacher at a few more of the Bachata club’s events.
One of Amparo’s students, Trevor Lim, praised Amparo’s teaching style and passion as an instructor.
“Frankie’s a really great instructor, and his goal is to make you better as a dancer. He really cares about the art,” Lim said.
That care for the craft of dance was seen by the early attendees who came just in time to learn the steps to the Bachata before the party started. Amparo taught the room through effortless example and humor to put his learners at ease — especially those who felt awkward or uncomfortable from coming alone or trying something new for the first time.
Santiago mentioned that the club is scheduled to meet every first and last Saturday of the month from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Lockhart Arena. He also explained how the club will teach a different rhythm on the first Saturday of every month. This month was Dominican Bachata, March will be Cuban Salsa and April will be a variation of the Brazilian Samba.
“[Anybody] can show up but you have to pay a five dollar fee,” Santiago said. “If you’re a member of the club you just pay $10 for the whole year and so it’s basically free. Anybody that’s (sic) not a UVU student can still come and be part of the club. We’re allowed to have 25 percent of the people that come be non-UVU students.”