Thursday, September 29, 2011

Salsa on the Plaza - Video

Ricardo Loaiza leads the Salsa on the Plaza program. Mr. Loaiza, a native of Colombia, is the originator the Latin Dance Company DC SALSEROS/LATIN VIBES which was launched in 1996 in Washington, DC. Ricardo has taught, choreographed and performed in more than 500 events in the Washington DC Metropolita, area as well as in over 20 cities in the USA. He has taught and Performed in various major SALSA international events in Holland, England, Germany, Dubai, Ireland, Puerto Rico, Japan, Aruba and Colombia. Currently he teaches Salsa-Aerobics (Dance Aerobics) at various Washington Sports Clubs, as part of a High and Low exercise program, for young and old.

For the last 10 years, he has helped organize and host the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Latin Dance Competition which has had as many as 10 schools participate in the past. As a result of this competition in November of 2010, he co-founded “The After School Latin Dance Fund”(ASDF), a non-profit organization that provides artistic, technical and financial support for the establishment of after school Latin dance programs with the hope of expanding the program to all 25 MCPS.

After School Dance Fund provides artistic, technical and financial support for the establishment After School Latin Dance Programs in all Montgomery County Public Schools (“MCPS”). ASDF offers its programs in an effort to combat the troubling prevalence of preventable social and health issues; particularly in the Latino community, including childhood obesity, teen pregnancy, high rates of high school drop-outs, and the devastating influence of gangs in our communities. The ASDF initiative aims to create a permanent space for participating MCPS students to be involved in a positive group activity with their peers after school. The GOAL is for students to learn to showcase popular Latin dances, as well as the importance of living a healthy mental and physical life style. To this end, dance becomes a vehicle for increased cultural awareness and pride, while fostering exercise and having fun. In addition, participants learn teamwork and gain leadership skills in preparation for competition with individuals dancers and dance teams from other schools. The artistic progress and continuous improvement in dance technique will have a positive impression in each participant's personality, manners and etiquette. Also, by participating in a structures program, students learn to be part of a team, to be responsible, on-time, respectful to their team members, adults and their parents.

As a result of last year MCPS High School 11th Annual Latin Dance Competition, which was held at the Strathmore, The ASDF proudly partnered with HIPtv, who produced a Documentary “The Road to Strathmore” which features the lives of four students from two different schools and their sponsors. The documentary will be PREMIERE in Silver Spring this Fall 2011 and will be submitted to local, regional, national and international film festivals. The Documentary elaborates on the struggle, success and importance of students to be involved in a positive group activity with their peers.

This program is a production of the Silver Spring Town Center, Inc.

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