February 08, 2007

World champions of salsa to perform at SIUC

by Sun Min

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Don't miss your chance to dance with the stars of salsa. The reigning world champions of salsa, Abel Pena and Zulmara Torres, will offer dance lessons and perform for audiences this Sunday, Feb. 11, from 8 to 10 p.m. at Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Student Recreation Center, lower level. The event is free and open to the public.

Campus sponsors include the Student Recreation Center, Office of the Provost and the Salsa Club, a student organization on campus.

"It is going to be an amazing experience having the world champions of salsa here," said Julio C. Barrenzuela of Springfield, an SIUC senior majoring in marketing and coordinator of the event. Originally from Peru, Barrenzuela is a salsa instructor with a passion for the popular dance. "I've been working to bring the top salsa dancers to SIUC for nearly four years. Sunday's concert will be a dream come true."

Pena and Torres are two-time world champions. The defended their crowns in December at the ESPN World Salsa Championships in Las Vegas.

Salsa is a combination of Caribbean folk traditions, musical styles and rhythms. Its most characteristic traits are the transculturation of songs, instruments and dances of various groups of Caribbean immigrants to the United States.

The Student Recreation Center offers classes in salsa, ballet, swing, Middle Eastern dance and ballroom dance. For more information, call 618/536-55312 or visit http://www.siu.edu/~oirs/programs/pages/dance.html.