Latino dancing, music and food at the annual El Baile dance

Mustang Staff

   Students experienced Latino dancing, music and food at the annual El Baile dance, a celebration of Latin culture and pride, that took place on Saturday, April 22. This year’s theme was Ranchero. While other school dances are all about school spirit, El Baile integrates that with spreading culture at the same time. 

    El Baile is sponsored by the Puertas Club. Club sponsor and English teacher Carsyn Rodriguez stated, “El Baile started in 2018 by Laura Garcia, myself, and Puertas Club students after there was a clear desire by students to have more Spanish music played at school dances. While the initial goal of El Baile was about music, it became so much more meaningful than that. El Baile is about recognizing, honoring, and celebrating all parts of Latin culture and identity, including the music, dancing, food, clothing, and general heritage. It is a place for students of Latin descent to be authentically themselves at school, while allowing others to learn about, respect, and celebrate the culture as well.”

    El Baile is a way for students to share their culture with others. According to sophomore Enayda Bustos, “It is important that we spread our Hispanic culture. It’s telling everyone we are here and we deserve the same attention everyone gets.”
  Preparation for the dance started early in the second semester. Puertas members decided on the theme, created decorations, chose the music, and held fundraisers for the dance.

    A student who attended the first El Baile in 2018 reflected, “Kids have their school selves and their home selves and when you have events like this where they can be their home selves at school, it makes school feel a little more like home.” 

   Rodriguez agreed with the sentiment. She reflected, “El Baile is by far my favorite event of the year so it’s hard to pick a favorite part, but I love seeing kids come together from different backgrounds to honor and celebrate Latin culture, and I also love how much it means to our Latino students. Last year at El Baile, students wrote on a wall that El Baile means community, bonding, expressing and celebrating culture, acceptance, opportunity, love and home, and to me, that’s why it’s so special and why we have El Baile.”