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Havana Nights

Day of Discovery was on March 31,  and Mercy Girls traveled to participate in many different activities. Mercy Girls went to shows, experienced other cultures, and even traveled to Minneapolis. Teachers and Mercy staff planned fun trips that were also educational. Mrs. Dongilli and Mrs. Davis led a group to The Nebraska Salsa Scene and to try authentic Latin American food on 24th Street. This gave students the opportunity to have fun and experience a new culture. The activity was named “Havana Nights!”

The girls met at The Nebraska Salsa Scene in Bellevue. Once the girls got there, the instructor introduced herself and her dance background. Then the girls began to dance! The two styles of dance being taught were the Salsa and the Bachata. Salsa is a popular dance used around the world. The type of Salsa being taught was the New York style. Bachata was easier to learn and is very popular in the Dominican Republic. 

When learning Salsa, the instructor explained the footwork first. Using numbers and counts the dancers were able to get a hang of the rhythm. After learning basic footwork combinations the girls were partnered up. The partners began to work together with one being the “leader” and the other being the “follower”. Once the girls understood dancing with a partner the instructor added music. The dancers were nervous at first but by the end of the song the girls were doing great!

After Salsa the girls took a break to learn Bachata. The instructor went through the footwork first for this style. The girls found it to be less complicated and easier than Salsa. Bachata is much more energetic as well with fun music. After learning the basic steps, the girls learned a turn and added a hip roll! Then the dancers found their same partner and began to slowly go through the steps. Once the music was added, the room exploded with lots of energy! The girls picked up the routine and were having lots of fun dancing to popular songs!

At the end of the lesson the students got to learn about dance opportunities in Omaha. Classes for Bachata and Salsa are available for multiple levels every week. The Nebraska Salsa Scene holds the weekly classes at their studio in Bellevue. The business also hopes to hold outdoor dancing nights in Aksarben this May!

Once the dancing was over the group went to 24th Street to enjoy some authentic Latin American food. Since it is Lent, many girls ordered cheese quesadillas or chips with cheese. Other girls ordered tacos, fajitas, and burritos. All of the tables were given chips and bean dip, which tasted amazing! Lots of people decided to split guacamole, salsa, and cheese dip. The chips and dip were so good but a little spicy! The food was so delicious and gave insight into authentic Hispanic style food.

The day ended with the Mercy Girls learning something new! The girls left with knowledge in dancing Salsa and Bachata, and tasting culture from Latin America. Mrs. Dongilli and Mrs. Davis picked an educational but fun Day of Discovery trip that will always be remembered by students! 


Lauren Maass
Future Dance Moms Star
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