Editor’s Note: In this reflective essay, Pamela Ortiz, LSU’s student president, talks about the experience of planning the Dancing with the Leafs event and all that transpired. For more information about the dance, dinner, or LSU club, contact Ortiz or any of the other student leaders.

Dancing with the Leafs was one of the biggest events of the year for the Latino Student Union.  Goshen College students here in 2018 would remember “Dancing with the Profs.” It was designed to be a dance competition for students and professors to show off their talent. 

This year, Latino Student Union was determined to bring back the competition. It all started in the summer before the new academic year kicked-off. LSU leaders gathered several times to find a date that would work for both the dancers and the venue. 

After a lot of inter-departmental collaboration, the date was finally set! February 1, 2020, would mark the comeback of Dancing with the Profs!

One of the biggest obstacles to success was finding enough people who were interested and committed to participating in this event, especially professors. Because of this we needed to make a modification to the title of the event. We changed it to “Dancing with the Leafs” because we had couples who were made up of students and then others that were made up of students and a professor.

The performers included two duos who danced rumbas; Grace Van Note and Cade Fisher, as well as Elijah Lora and Karina Palos. Emma Zurcher and Alex Miller danced a salsa while Cristobal Garza Garcia with Alicia Manis, and Julie Reese with Zenton Yobera, danced bachatas. The only cha cha, and the champion title, went to Ty Ram and Cadence Lee.

LSU leaders also decided to host a rice competition and meal before the show to help with fundraising. This event was also a big success, with many Maple Leafs coming out to enjoy the food prepared by their peers. 

Thanks to GoDance Studios and their talented dance teachers, our students and professors turned into star dancers. Each dance couple practiced a total of eight times with their instructors to learn their own customized dance. 

All the couples worked hard to perfect their dances, whether bachata, rumba, salsa, or cha-cha. They all worked very hard, in and out of the dance studio. Some mentioned that they even practiced ten hours for each hour of classes. Dancers were given videos to review, met up with their partners to practice, and last Saturday night all their hard work really shone through.

Lisa Rosado-Rivera was a wonderful host, and was accompanied by three very charismatic judges who helped keep the show going. Our wonderful and insightful judges were Dali Rodriguez, LSU’s media coordinator, Nasim Fatemeh Rasoulipour, a senior, and Karsten Hess, a GC alum. All three provide critiques but also an overwhelming show of amazement and enjoyment after each dance.

The dancers were each amazing, putting their own twist and flavor into each dance. They added drama and kept the audience engaged and in awe from start to finish. They also shared a bit about their experience and their process. The Umble Center was filled with both supporters who had their favorites and those who just wanted to check out the amazing talent that Goshen College displays over and over again. 

Latino Student Union wants to thank everyone that helped make this amazing event possible and give a huge thank you to the dancers for bringing your talents and courage to this event to make it as successful as it was!