By Shannon Genereau
Originally featured in The Cardinal Newsblog:

The Saint Mary’s Ballroom Dance Club provided free salsa lessons to the Winona community on Jan. 19. The lessons were led by Michelle Wegrzyn, Vice President of Ballroom Dance Club, and Katie Frye, Secretary of Ballroom Dance Club.

The session began at 6 p.m. in the Ben Miller Lobby of the Page Theatre and lasted for about 45 minutes. In total, there were about 19 or 20 people who showed up for the lessons with a wide age range in participants.

Wegryzn and Frye explained the elements of dance and the types of steps in salsa. After explaining each one, they had everyone line up in two lines of leaders and followers, and walk through the moves. Following this, salsa music was added, enabling the dancers to put their newly-learned steps to use. The music had a slower tempo in order to ensure that dancers were able to make the right steps as they started learning the dance.

Throughout the session, Wegryzn and Frye increased the complexity of the steps they were teaching. By the end of the session, it seemed as if the participants were really getting into the dancing, with some community members keeping pace with the music very successfully.

One participant, Ciara Kowalczyc, is a senior at Saint Mary’s. “I learned how to salsa dance this summer, and I enjoy dancing in general,” she said. Kowalczyc, along with all of the participants, ended the night with a round of applause for the lesson.