Multicultural dance brings food, fun, and cultural understanding to UI


Lily Smith

The Latino Native American Cultural Center is seen on Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)

The Association of Latinos Moving Ahead puts on an annual multicultural event to celebrate Latin American traditions.

By Salma Rios

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As midterms week finally comes to an end, there seems to be no better way to celebrate than with a party. At least that’s what the coordinators of the multicultural event Al Ritmo de Latinoamerica believed while putting together the event.

Al Ritmo is a celebration of Latin American roots and cultural differences and is put on by the Association of Latinos Moving Ahead. This year is special for Al Ritmo — it marks the 12-year anniversary of the event.

In Al Ritmo, people of different cultures and nationalities gather and learn about each other’s ways of life.

The event took place on Oct. 14 in the IMU Second-Floor Ballroom and featured foods from different restaurants, including empanadas from the Lost Cuban, frijoles, rice, and horchata from El Taquito, as well as Argentinian cookies.

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Performances by different groups around campus and the state of Iowa were also part of the event. The Brazilian Moves Dance Company from Des Moines performed a dance routine, along with a performance by Dance Revolution, a new student organization at the university.

UI student Brenda Herrera performed three songs at the event, which concluded with a dance.

The purpose of Al Ritmo is to boost cultural awareness by sharing the different traditions of Latin American countries.

Alexandria Ramirez, a second-year undergrad and the event planner for the Latino association, said Al Ritmo serves many purposes.

“It will allow people to learn about the Latinx culture, as well as about the countries of Latin America,” she said. “It will provide a time for community members, students, and faculty to socialize, and it will give people a chance to dance and to just have fun.”

Members of the university and the Iowa City community can learn a lot from an event such as this. They can learn about different cultures and hopefully open their minds to new cultural identities and people.

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