Newcastle students gained a Latin flair on Tuesday 26th February when Newcastle University music students organized a charity salsa night in aid of the charity La Vida. The event was held in the recently opened Revoluçion de Cuba which served discounted cocktails all night and definitely added to the Latin atmosphere.
One enthusiastic attendee said, “As a longtime fan of Strictly Come Dancing, I seized the opportunity to take part, and spent most of the day before watching endless clips of routines hoping that I too could be a professional dancer one day... “
The night kicked off with a 30-minute beginner’s salsa lesson from two very talented members of the university’s salsa society. Lots of chaos and hilarity ensued and despite
standing on multiple people’s feet, attendees managed pull off a short combination of steps. After a quick break, their new skills were put to the test during the performance of the talented 10-piece band Azúcar who performed some Latin tunes. With drums, saxophones and questionable Hawaiian shirts, this talented group certainly brought a bit of sunshine to a cold North-East night. The evening finished off in style with a DJ set by the local DJ Elliot Cruickshanks. Unfortunately, 9am lectures prevented some attendees from dancing the night away.
The event was a huge success, attracting 92 enthusiastic participants and raising over £230 for La Vida. This volunteer-run charity, founded in 2006, supports grassroots projects dedicated to improving health and education in local communities in Latin America.
Describing the motivation for organising the event, Newcastle University Music student Gabriel May, one of the organisers, said, “La Vida Loca was put on as part of the Music Enterprise module in our degree – we are all music students - where you have to organise a professional music event. We thought it would be interesting and different for the audience to have something to take part in, as well as enjoying the music, and salsa is a lot of fun! We also know a few Salsa musicians from when the department ran a Salsa band module, so we had some contacts to get things off the ground.
“We knew we wanted to raise money for a charity that tied in well with our event and La Vida are a very impressive charity both in their work and the way the conduct themselves. They raise funds for a variety of healthcare and education projects across South America, for example, the Poder Joven project is a pre and afterschool club that helps unprivileged children by providing food, education, medical and psychological assistance on a daily basis. Furthermore, La Vida is completely volunteer run, with 98% of donations going directly to these projects. It’s very pleasing to know that the money raised will be making an impact.”
Fourth year Combined Honours student Tavier Fairburn said, “I really enjoyed the event, it was such an original way to raise money for charity whilst learning something new. Overall it was an excellent event, and although I definitely won’t become the next Anton du Becke, I had a thoroughly wholesome fiesta, all for a great cause.”
You can find more information about La Vida here: https://www.lavida.org.uk/?fbclid=IwAR02AKbRCKjIFEuHbZBtM8DW3esvZA35oKO2_wf3NueoyHqwT70XxPjGr7o