Organization Spotlight: Candela Latin Dance Club

Candela Latin Dance Club is an organization on campus that focuses on giving students a creative outlet through dance. On varying days of the week, LDC hosts workshops, socials, and collaborations with other multicultural organizations at Binghamton University. Their mission and/or goal is to increase Latin awareness, representation, and traditions by creating an open, recreational, and educational space that brings people together through their shared love of dance. They do so by teaching various forms of Latin Dance and sharing the culture with others who wish to learn more in the Binghamton area. To learn more about them read below!

  1. When was your organization founded and for what purpose?

Our organization was founded in the Spring semester of 2023 and has become fully chartered this Spring semester of 2024. It was created with the purpose to be a safe and open space for people to enjoy dancing and learning Latin culture that was not yet present on campus. 

  1. How do you feel this organization has helped you gain or grow professional skills?

This organization has not only taught all of us to be more confident in ourselves in our everyday lives but also how to improve our public communication skills. Seeing as how we are always engaging with new members and making sure we teach dance steps in a clear and coherent manner, it is always important for us to be skilled at communication and public speaking. Which isn’t always as easy as it may appear to be. Again, through our time being a part of Candela, we’ve been able to become more skilled and self-assured as teachers to the community and as dance-lovers overall (which is always a useful skill). 

  1. Why do you believe it is important to get involved on campus?

It’s important to get involved on campus because by doing so, you are able to expand your world and mind through meeting other people. By joining clubs and being a part of the community, you are meeting others who either share a similar value or introduce you to a new one. Thus, allowing you to become more world-rounded and in turn, learn more about yourself and what you hope to continue doing [or not doing]. 

  1. How has Candela Latin Dance Club been able to create a space for students of color in a predominantly white institution?

We’ve been able to bring a strong Latin presence on campus that is not only welcoming to the Latin community but encourages others from different cultures to learn about our culture as well. From working alongside predominantly white sororities to smaller clubs like MEM (Mary E. Mahoney), we’ve been able to spread the knowledge and love of Latin culture through dance. Not to mention, we also work alongside different dance-based organizations that aren’t necessarily considered to be part of Latin culture, like Ballroom dance club. Overall, we embrace different groups of people because of our organization’s adaptability and through this, have we been able to create a space for students of color on Binghamton campus. 

By Stephanie Ramirez-Cisneros
Stephanie Ramirez-Cisneros Senior Peer Consultant