Latinx @ UVA

Latinx @ UVA

Fuego

Over the years, Fuego has invited students of all backgrounds and dance skills to join the team. The organization prides itself on not just focusing on one specific style of dance, but rather celebrating and teaching many different dance forms, including partner dances such as bachata and salsa, folkloric dances such as caporales and cumbia, reggaeton, and so much more. Fuego has collaborated with and performed with many other dance teams on Grounds, and has spent the last two years helping to teach local youth dance groups such as Charlottesville's own iDance ministry.

Mission:

Fuego's mission is and has always been to do just this: to share Latin culture to the rest of the UVA and Charlottesville community.

 


Our Website: Website

Founding year:

2009

Founders:

Karina Bustillo

Chloé Carcamo

Geril Garcia

Ronald Hernandez

Myra Morales

Maura Tousignant

Wilson Ventura

Creation:

In the spring of 2008, numerous members of the Hispanic/Latino community at UVA came together to enhance the annual Ritmo Latino Show sponsored by the former student group, Latino Student Union (LSU). From these performances friendships were made and an active Hispanic/Latino dance community was sparked. Members of this community came from all dance disciplines, backgrounds, and experience levels, but often worked together to provide informal performances for other student groups on grounds, including CultureFest.

During the fall of 2009, La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda, Inc. Fraternity Chapter at Virginia Commonwealth University reached out to members in the newly created Latino Student Alliance (LSA) with an invitation to perform. That fall LSA Fuego Dance Team was founded by 7 friends at Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) annual cultural show “Movimientos,” part of their Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration. Since their first official performance at VCU, LSA Fuego ignited and quickly gained recognition at UVA performing at various events sponsored by numerous student organizations including Mahogany Dance Troupe, Dance Committee, Salsa Club and many others while also working alongside the Latino Student Alliance programming committee on their biannual cultural shows.

When LSA Fuego first began it exhibited modern and contemporary styles of dance from Latin America; such styles included Salsa, Bachata, Merengue, and Reggaeton. Its flames quickly spread and grew in size while also expanding its dance repertoire to include various folkloric dances native to the lands of South and Central America. LSA Fuego also gained much support and recognition from the University, the Charlottesville community, and other universities and communities state-wide. LSA Fuego began as a branch of the Latino Student Alliance organization and in the fall of 2011 LSA Fuego became an independent student organization remaining within the LSA umbrella as a member organization. The team’s presence in the university was and continues to be essential to cultivating a community aware of and engaged in the diverse and rich dance culture of Latin America.

Structure:

Fuego functions by way of a three-person executive board team. All other jobs are divided up and done by the group as a whole.

Efforts:

  • Fuego dance lessons occur once a week on Sundays, and many dancers of all levels come out to practice. By offering these free weekly lessons, Fuego has makes the art of Latin dance approachable and fun to people that would otherwise be too shy or afraid to try something new and embrace a new culture. Students who attend these lessons (and those who don't) will have an opportunity to join the performance team in the Spring. Students that become members of the performance team are members for life.

Information collected through an interview with Alexa Massey (C/O 2019)