The Club That Became Family

Friday Nights

The community of the CP Salsa Club all began at the weekly Friday night events. At the end of each week, the club gets together to dance their weeks away. This is where not only Cal Poly students, but also individuals from San Luis Obispo come together to dance till midnight. They provide lessons in three different experience levels of salsa dancing and afterwards, host a salsa dancing social for anyone who wants to join in on the fun. View the pictures and captions below to learn more about the infamous Friday nights.

January 13, 2017 – It’s seven p.m. on a Friday night at the campus of California Polytechnic State University, in San Luis Obispo. As the sun goes down, the doors open up, and students begin to fill the Architecture and Enviro. Design Building. Cal Poly’s Salsa Club has invited students of all dancing skills to join them in lessons and a dance social, as they do every week. January 13, 2017 – The club is run by students, who are not only passionate about dance, but who also want to spread their love for salsa. Leading members Janessa Danielle Ruiz Cabrera and Ivan Ramirez, begin to welcome the dancers. January 13, 2017 – Around eight p.m., the Latin music begins to blast, as Salsa teachers Felipe Gonzalez and Kim Daum of San Luis Obispo, take over the beginning level class. This classroom is full of individuals who are new to dancing and might even be first timers. January 13, 2017 – “I first came here with my WOW leaders freshman year. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly that I kept coming back,” said fourth year Cal Poly student and CP Salsa Club’s Outreach Manager, Kelsey Woodson. January 13, 2017 – “I've always been very passionate about dancing. Being a Latina, salsa and bachata have been a family activity. CP salsa has definitely helped me refine my skills in partner dancing. I can't get enough of it!” said third year Cal Poly student, Sophie Jimenez. January 13, 2017 – Across the hall, Kara Pecson and Cris Fuentes of San Luis Obispo, passionately lead the intermediate class. Tonight they teach the steps for the “Suzy Q,” “Hook Step,” “Flare,” “Hook Turn,” and the “Slide.” January 13, 2017 – At first, they teach each step one by one. Gradually with the music, the movements get faster and faster. By the end of the night, the students can put all of the steps together to form one beautiful dance. January 13, 2017 – In the advance room, professionals Sara Lashanlo and Daniel Johnson Jr. of San Luis Obispo, demonstrate how to spin your partner. January 13, 2017 – After they master the spin, the lessons come to an end. But, by no means is the dancing over for the night. January 13, 2017 – When the clock hits nine-thirty, the group of dancers grows, as the free salsa social begins. As the music begins to blast again, couples partner up and the dancers salsa their way through midnight. January 13, 2017 – “Being able to meet someone, not know their name, have an amazing dance connection with them, then walk away and still not know their name–it’s magic,” says CP Salsa Club’s Assistant Teacher, Troy Nino de Rivera, from San Luis Obispo.

The Community

Each and every memeber of the CP Salsa Club will tell you that they feel at home when they come together. The individuals of CP Salsa have created a family-like community through their love of salsa dancing and made countless memories. Below is a video of the CP Salsa's Vice President, Kevin Martinez, sharing his experience being a part of the club. Watch this video to learn about how he first became a member and what it is like to be a part of the community.


As the years go by, CP Salsa Club's members will graduate from Cal Poly or move away from San Luis Obispo. However, their memories of the club will last forever. Hover your mouse over the pictures below to watch three short videos on the most loved memories from a member, alumni, and the president of the CP Salsa Club.

Fun Facts

Salsa dancing has a large presence not only on Cal Poly’s campus, but also all around the world. It is a form of Latin dancing, which dozens of styles of dance are categorized under. Latin dancing and music have a rich history dating back to hundreds of years ago. In the image below, the arrows connect the style of Latin dance (red words) to their country of origin (black words). Hover your mouse over the dots to watch a video that teaches the introductory steps for each style of dance.

Salsa 101

Dying to know more about salsa dancing? Explore below to get informed on how to salsa, learn the history of it, and watch videos on some of our society’s best salsa dancers.

“If movements were a spark every dancer would desire to light up in flames.” ―Shah Asad Rizvi