The unmistakable sounds of authentic Cuban music weaved through the halls of Hopkins High School on Tuesday, Nov. 28. But the tunes stemmed from the mall where dancers Chini Yeniél Perez and Hanna Kuluvar Esparza showed off their moves in front of the entire student body.
Perez and Esparza, both local dancers and choreographers, were invited to perform by high school club HHS Responds in celebration of Latino/a culture. Between first and second block, Perez, who is a native Cuban, and Esparza blasted the new hit “Con Elegguá y Con Orula” by Cuban musical group Emilio Frías "El Niño" y La Verdad.
Students and staff crowded the mall, stairs, and second floor to get a glimpse of the dynamic dance moves, some of which were choreographed while others were freestyle. And by the end of the performance, some students had even joined in.
"It was invigorating to witness the spark and sizzle of Cuban salsa dancing in the hallways of our school," said Tim Owen, Juntos Spanish immersion educator. "Chini Yeniél Perez is one of the great Cuban choreographers and dancers, and his dance partner, Hanna Kuluvar Esparza, is a wildly popular salsa performer and instructor in the Twin Cities."