La Bamba

By Chad Galts / September / October 1999
November 7th, 2007
Providence's record-setting heat proved a favorable climate for some of the high school students taking classes on campus this summer. In early July at the Bear's Lair, a lounge in the basement of the Graduate Center, students gathered for a free clinic in salsa dancing sponsored by the Office of Summer Studies. Of the twenty-two students who showed up, only four were male. Among them was the event's organizer, Ihab Girgis '97 Sc.M., an aerospace-engineering graduate student from Egypt who lives in the Grad Center with his wife and two-and-a-half-year-old daughter. "We try to do some things to keep the kids amused," he says of the lessons. "The kids, they like to dance."

"Try not to move your shoulders too much; the idea is moving your hips," shouts one of Girgis's assistants over the thumping techno-beat of the salsa music. He moves from one cluster of girls to the next, offering pointers. "Whether you're turning or twisting, you always have to be doing the step. It's very simple, but it can get a bit tricky....That's salsa!"

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September / October 1999