It is Time to be on Fire


Giovanna Breda Kubota, Contributing Writer

The Valencia intramural sports and fitness program, Latin Fire brought a new perspective to Valencia´s West Campus.

Back in Spring 2015, a group of students decided to spread their passion in dance  by creating the first Salsa and Bachata dance club of Valencia College. By providing free classes, the organization was able to grow significantly. The Student Government Association awarded the title of “Club of the Semester” to the dance group just two semesters after its creation.
“The first thing you see when you open the door is a big group of students who are always there. Everyone is so friendly in this complete judgment free zone, and everyone is there to learn, grow and have a good time,” said Christopher Klemm, Latin Fire President. Klemm, 21, is a sophomore Valencia student seeking a bachelors degree in Aerospace Engineering. He had no previous experience dancing before joining the club.

The club’s purpose is to embrace different people through dance. Salsa and Bachata are some, but not all, styles of dance Latin Fire cover. The free classes for students, staff and faculty members are offered every Thursday from 4 p.m. to 5:20 p.m. at the Health Sciences Building (HSB), room 123.

The club normally goes to Social Mixers hosted by either University of Florida or Salsa Heat, a Dance Studio in Central Florida, and like to play along with Latin Rhythm, UCF´s Salsa club. Both organizations, Latin Fire and Latin Rhythm work together to make sure everyone has a good time outside of college.

“We do 2 or 3 picnics throughout the semester in a way to engage with our dance students,” Alexis Nelson said. Nelson, 19, is the former Vice-President of Latin Fire and is currently in her second semester at Valencia.

“I just ask students to be open-minded and have positive attitudes in order to enroll in our classes,” Nelson stated.

Latin Fire officers are looking forward to a change in the upcoming semesters. They want to be able to provide different types of classes by separating people in groups. “So we have people who had never dance before and want it to learn, and we also have some who already know how to dance and want to learn something in advance,” Christopher said.

By focusing on different groups, the idea is to provide classes on different days of the week in order to get more people to join. By doing that, Klemm is confident that the plan of spreading the club to other Valencia´s campuses is not far.

“We could not start this [change in classes] in this semester, because for the first time we have all new members of staff, so we have been learning all the responsibilities that go with running a club, but we are going definitely be working on it next semester,” Christopher said.

To sign up for Latin Fire it is necessary to attend at least one meeting. More information about the club can be found on their Facebook page named Latin Fire Club.