I have to admit that I certainly love salsa music and I am completely psyched that Fiesta Latina is happening this week. This is an event with music and food. I think about my early years at Syracuse University when I noticed that Latino/Hispanic Heritage month was barely a blip on the calendar. I wanted do something that would remind Latino students of home.
When I lived in the Bronx as a kid, my father would often take me to these fundraising dances every year in Co-op City. The funds would go to The New York Emperor’s Stickball League. To say that my dad took me to these events is inaccurate. I worked them. This was probably my first taste of what working events was like. I either served drinks from the cash bar or I worked the coat check. In either case, I was privy to some of the best salsa I have ever seen. More importantly, I realized how much better live salsa music sounded than when my dad played it on his record player.
What never gets old is the bass. The constant beat that you feel on your feet when you are on the dance floor. The rythm that you can practically feel in the airwaves. When I did coat check, I could feel the beat from coat room. I remembered all this when I first came up with the idea of Fiesta Latina. I wanted students to come to an event that they can dress up and dance the night way much like their parents did at one point or another. My goal was to have a live salsa band and, at the time, it really didn’t matter who played.
I also made it a point to make sure the dance floor is big enough to accommodate the hordes of people that will be dancing to our featured guest, Frankie Negron. I feel as if I have promoted this event to no end and I will continue to do so until it is over. The food will be on point, which is something that is always understated.
Now I am less than a week away from seeing the best Fiesta Latina yet. Over the past eight years, this event went from a reception in a conference room to a sold out event with music and dance performances in one of the largest venues at Syracuse University. Sure, I had help. I wont say that it is all me. The Office of Multicultural Affairs has taken this idea from the inception and ran with it. I am just glad to be here to see where it is going.