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Elk Grove Citizen

A Little Dose of Latin Dance

Mar 28, 2024 10:09AM ● By Matthew Malone

Instructors from Yemayá Salsa Dance Co. lead a warmup before the start of salsa and bachata lessons at the first Latin Night Market. Photo by Matthew Malone

ELK GROVE, CA (MPG) - Elk Grovians spent a mild evening last Friday learning energetic dance moves at the city’s inaugural Latin Night Market.
Scores of individuals turned up at District56 for the free lesson in the basics of salsa and bachata. 
Area company Dance on the Edge organized the event, which is scheduled to return monthly through November, excluding July.
Dance on the Edge co-founder Jesse Rodriguez said the group aims to “activate” community spaces with the lessons and they are free to keep the lessons accessible for all public members. 
“Our whole mission is to do public events, to basically bring the community together, to teach a salsa lesson, a bachata lesson, kind of just share our love for the dance,” Rodriguez told the Citizen, later adding, “What we’re doing is we’re creating that spark in people and we just want to share what we have with other folks.”
As the start time for the lessons approached, couples and small groups of people practiced their salsa moves. Then, instructors from Yemayá Salsa Dance Co. came forward and led warmup dances. Yemayá’s staff also gave the lessons.
Susana Rodriguez, Yemayá’s office manager, said she hoped participants would see “the fun that it is to dance.”
“What I always say is that everyone starts as a beginner. No one’s born a dancer, so I think the fear of people is always that first step,” she said. “And to me, dance is just a fun way to interact with people. There’s no age limits. There’s no boundaries as far as socioeconomic status or anything like that. You’ll see that everyone dances with each other, regardless of age, race, socioeconomic level, etc. And it’s just fun.”
Each lesson lasted 30 minutes, with the students learning the basic steps, along with turns, box steps and other moves to create variety. The instructors also explained ways to add personality to movements beyond getting the foot placement right.
And after practicing a few moves, the attendees followed the instructor in dancing to Latin songs such as “El Beso Que No Le Di” by Romeo Santos and Kiko Rodríguez, “Como una Estrella” by Victor Manuelle and “Lotería” by Prince Royce.
Jesse Rodriguez said the dance lessons help individuals form new connections.
“What happens is a lot of friendships are developed from this,” he said, noting that this happened when the group held virtual events during the COVID-19 pandemic. “So same principle here, bring people together, develop friendships and we hope they have a great time.”
The Latin Night Market series continues at 5 p.m. on April 19, May 17, June 21, Aug. 30, Sept. 20, Oct. 4 and Nov. 1. District56 is located at 8230 Civic Center Drive. 
For more information about the groups involved, visit Dance on the Edge’s website at and Yemayá Salsa Dance Co.‘s website at