Two weeks ago the Newcastle Herald published a feature article on the Latin community in Newcastle. The article was initially an attempt to cover the celebration of Mexican Independence Day and the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), but morphed into something of a tribute to the growing Latin presence in the city of Newcastle over the last number of years, and how people like Luisa (one of the stars of the article) have been central to this movement.
Great parties, great food, lots of Spanish (and Portuguese if you’re at a Brazilian party) and, of course, dance! Dance on Newy, along with other schools, have worked hard at making sure there is a steady stream of great dance parties, socials and other gatherings to band the community together around this wonderful passion for salsa, bachata and tango! It shows you don’t have to be in Sydney to satisfy your fiesta cravings – head a couple of hours north of Sydney to Newcastle where it’s all happening!
Latin dance has certainly been instrumental in helping this community to grow and thrive, and has managed to attract many locals (yours truly included) to the classes and socials. The Tuesday night social at the Wickham Pub (the Wicko) is a wonderful way to interact with the Latin dance community, and practice some of your moves! Luisa made a really valuable point in the article:
"There's a lot of things that we can provide and bring to the Newcastle community. My personal goal is that we show our true selves and be like 'This is who we are', and not be ghettoised".
This is a wonderful statement for the Latin community here in Newcastle and the greater Hunter region. There is so much to give to this city, and the wider community would benefit hugely from making the effort to try and understand these interesting, varied cultures from Central and South America. So, as the article says, ‘Viva la cultura Latina!’ And let’s keep moving those feet to the beat!