Students learn Latin dance at the Long Island High School for the Arts
Long Island High School for the Arts students learn Latin dance techniques during a Master Class. Pictured are LIHSA Dance Instructor Natalie L’Etoile, Master Class guest teacher Maria Loreta, Spanish Dance Company Sol y Sombra; Jarden Alequin, Carle Place UFSD; Ariel Nachman, Long Beach City SD; Jacquelyn Romeo, Massapequa UFSD; and Daniella Jasuja, Elwood UFSD.
A Latin beat had Long Island High School for the Arts (LIHSA) dance students on their feet and learning Latin dance techniques from Maria Loreta, founder and artistic director of Spanish Dance Company Sol y Sombra, as part of the school’s Master Class program.
“The students and teachers here are fantastic,” said Maria Loreta. “We were learning the Bachata today. Latin dances require a lot when you start to throw in lifts, but the basic social Latin dances are easy to pick up. What’s great is that it allows your body to feel rhythm. The students got that.”
Maria Loreta has studied Spanish dance both in the U.S. and in Spain. During her work as principal artist with Sol y Sombra, she has performed with numerous Spanish dance companies. Her credits include appearances at the U.N., Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, Town Hall, the Chateaux Madrid, Constitution Hall, the Kravis Center, Jacob’s Pillow, as well as innumerable colleges and cultural centers throughout the U.S. Maria is presently on the faculty of SUNY Stony Brook’s Center for Dance, Movement & Somatic Learning.
The Master Class program is part of the school’s ongoing mission to provide its students with an inside look at the industries they are pursuing, and to introduce them to mentors within their chosen field.