Salsa, a 50s Cuban dance mixing the mambo and rumba, has enjoyed a surge in popularity throughout North America in recent years. Eager learners of salsa’s seductive moves flock to local YMCAs to enroll in introduction courses, making them among the most high in demand, said local instructor Mercedes Dorrbercker Drake, who teaches salsa and Spanish at Prince George’s Y.
Her group will be part of this weekend’s Cultural Explosion, an evening of performance, fashions and food at the Prince George Playhouse put on by UNBC’s Multicultural Club. Bhangra dancing, an East Indian style of dance, flamenco, Mexican and Hindi dancing will be part of the entertainment lineup, including other performances by UNBC’s Multicultural Club.
There will also be a fashion show featuring an array of multicultural outfits from Vietnam, Japan, India, Latin America and other locations around the world. Throughout the evening guests will be able to sample different ethnic foods brought to Canada by immigrants, adding to our cultural fabric.
“This is Cultural Explosion’s third year and the purpose of the show is to promote cultural diversity and raise money for a good cause,” said organizer Sharon Smith.
In past years funds raised through admission and donations went to the Red Cross. This year’s event proceeds will be channeled through R.E.A.D., a non-governmental literacy organization, to reach school children in Ingwavuma, South Africa.
“It will be used to buy books for special needs schools, supply bursaries for students to study in their country and buy school uniforms for seven children orphaned by AIDS. Often if a child does not have a uniform he or she won’t go to school out of shame,” said Smith.
Admission for Saturday’s event is $7 per ticket of $30 for five in advance, and $10 at the door. Tickets are available at the UNBC bookstore and Books & Company. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 6:30 p.m.