Dale Duro dances audiences across Latin America in spring show


Beatrice Villaflor/The Daily Northwestern

Dale Duro Latin Dance Company performed its spring show this weekend.

Beatrice Villaflor, Assistant Arts and Entertainment Editor

“Light up the stage because we are caliente. Fuego!” chanted the cast of Dale Duro Latin Dance Company’s spring show. Caliente they were.

Dale Duro performed its spring show “Dale Duro: Worldwide,” at Ryan Family Auditorium with a sold out show Friday and a nearly sold out performance Saturday. The two-hour program featured dances from across Latin America, including salsa, Brazilian funk and merengue.

In keeping with its name, “Worldwide” cycled through partnered dances and large group numbers to explore the subgenres and flexibility within each style. 

In one piece, Dale Duro mimed a frisbee match on the beach to the tune of “Después de la Playa” by Bad Bunny. In another, dancers donned national soccer shirts for Shakira’s “Waka Waka (This Time For Africa).”

All the while, the crowd made its enthusiasm known through cheering during each dance or calling out the names of dancers coming up in the next set. 

“Mr. Worldwide” — a nickname for rapper Pitbull, who is of Cuban descent — helped inspire the theme. Communication junior Alexandra Romo, one of Dale Duro’s head choreographers, said members began tossing around the idea of a Pitbull-themed show last year.

The senior piece — the penultimate song on the program — is a medley of the rapper’s songs that saw dancers “at the hotel, motel, Holiday Inn,” with one dancer even dressed as Pitbull. 

But the event name is more than an homage to the artist.

“We have dances from all over Latin America. So that just fits into the whole ‘worldwide’ theme,” Romo said. “We’re really excited to showcase all of that and be representative of different Latin countries.”

Dancing styles from bachata to champeta, the group emanated high energy in each spin as members swiveled their hips and stepped across the stage. 

In between dances, SESP senior and Dale Duro co-president Gerardo Rodriguez kept the audience equally entertained and informed with punchlines about his upbringing interspersed with the context of the dance styles performed. 

By the end of the show, Dale Duro could not be contained. Cast members spilled out into the aisles as they performed the finale in three different styles: reggaeton, dembow and cumbia. Both Romo and her co-head choreographer, Weinberg senior Laurisa Sastoque, said the finale was their favorite piece.

“In the finale, everybody’s onstage. There’s no one backstage. Everyone’s out there and we’re all doing the same thing and it looks so cool,” Romo said. “That was like, ‘wow, we worked so hard, and it looks so good,’ and it’s just rewarding.”

Weinberg freshman Alex Chavez attended Saturday’s performance at the invitation of a friend. 

“It makes me feel like I’m back at home. All songs I recognize from my own life and my own family,” Chavez said. “It’s really brightening up my Saturday.” 

Chavez said affinity-based dance groups on campus like Dale Duro play an important role in encouraging students to explore their peers’ experiences.

Sastoque credited Dale Duro for bringing Latine communities on campus together through dance. 

She added that her perspective of the Latine experience at Northwestern has changed a lot since her freshman year, when she said she felt there were no big Latine spaces on campus. 

Since then, she said Dale Duro has played a role in changing the way Latine people get to know each other and that has allowed her to feel more comfortable on campus. 

“I didn’t have many Latin friends. I didn’t speak Spanish ever. So I remember thinking, ‘Oh, okay, I guess this is how it is here,’” Sastoque said. “But then I remember yesterday looking at everyone being like, ‘Oh, wow, it has changed so much.’” 

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Twitter: @beatricedvilla

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