In an atmosphere that was filled with good spirits and the smell of home-cooked food, the sixth annual El Salsabor once again provided the NC State community with a glimpse inside the Latino culture.  “The purpose of El Salsabor is to showcase the uniqueness and diversity within the Latino culture and kicks off Hispanic Heritage Month,” said Nicole Machado, a junior in Textile and Apparel Management and president of Mi Familia. Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15th through October 15th. The event, which was hosted by Mi Familia and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), attracted a diverse crowd that congregated in the Talley Ballroom. A quarter of the entrance fee went to support Stop Hunger Now, an organization that coordinates the distribution of food and other life-saving aid around the world.

There were several acts that gained the attention of the audience and kept them entertained throughout the entire event. The first act to come to the stage was Alex Joyce, who recited a poem about mothers; Anna Murillo, a senior in Biological Sciences and Ana Alvarado, a senior in Business Administration, performed a Mexican folkloric dance that included the presentation of the Mexican flag that drew applause and cheers from the audience. Afterwards, Sube Ritmo, a Latin dance group here at NC State, came to the stage and awed the crowd with their moves. Grande Gato, a Reggaeton artist and alumnus of the university (Class of 1994), laced everyone with his rhymes.

But perhaps the most anticipated part of the night was the dance lessons with instructions that were provided by Anthony Tuttle. The lessons required a partner, and even though there were more women than men at the event, people still managed to get a dance partner nonetheless even if they were of the same sex.  Tuttle first started off with the basics and gradually went into more complicated dances to include salsa. Despite the difficult moves and the fast-paced dance lesson, that did little to faze the spectators like Elana Turner, a sophomore in Philosophy. “I’ve had a wonderful time experiencing the culture and felt that it was very festive, especially the dancing part.” Daisy Hurtado, a freshman in Textile and Apparel Management and a member of Mi Familia, loved the “willingness” of the people to learn about the culture, from the food to the music. The night concluded in a free-for-all dance marathon where people were showing off their freshly learned dance moves.