Lo Nuestro: Hispanic Dance Troupe Shares Cultures Tradition

by Bladimir Castillo

Lo Nuestro is a dance group of Hispanic students that has been dancing for festivals and assemblies for 12 years. It was originally composed of students at Albert Einstein High School only. Now it includes Einstein graduates and former Einstein students. I am proud to be part of this group even though I transferred to Blair H.S. from Einstein this year.

The group Lo Nuestro has many objectives. They are to encourage Hispanic students to participate in extra-curriculum activities, to foster Hispanic students' pride in their heritage, to bridge the gap between Hispanic and American students by presenting the Hispanic culture through entertainment, to enable Hispanic students to feel like an integral part of the school community and to prevent students from dropping out of school by building their self esteem and their sense of belonging. To be member of this group you must have a GPA of at least of 2.50.

Since the beginning, this group has included students from various countries of Latin America and Spain. The dancers usually perform folk and traditional dances from several countries of Latin America. Lo Nuestro means "our own." This name was give by Mrs. Yolanda Glower who founded this group. In this group there are currently students from many different Spanish speaking countries. Mrs. Glower is the manager while Mrs. Gacho Peña is the teacher who teaches the dances. Mrs. Peña has been working with this group since 1993 and she said, "The members of this group have a lot of motivation and desire to learn the dances of Latin America and they never give up. Each day they want to learn more and more to give the best in their dances to succeed in the presentations."

One member of the group said, "For us dancing means a lot because it helps identify our roots. But as Latin American students we learn about other Latin American countries and we feel how valuable are our dances."

Students in this group feel like their own family because they help each other as brothers and sisters.

Another member of this group named Rolando Martinez who has been with Lo Nuestro since he was in 9th grade said, "Lo Nuestro has been a good thing because it helps the Latin American students learn more about their cultures." And he added, "This group is for me like my second family because they advise me and always try to do the best for me. This group is a good example for others students who want to achieve." Even though he is a senior he hopes he can continue in this group. "After I graduate I will do the best to try to be in this group because this group represents a lot for me and helps me identify with my culture."

Copyright © 1998, Silver International, Montgomery Blair H.S., Silver Spring, MD USA

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