Latin music filled the room as students, faculty and staff danced Zumba at a Tuesday dance party sponsored by Grupo Flor y Canto.
“We usually do a lot of educational events related to Latino dance, like Mexican folkloric dance,” said Eliseo Jacob, a representative of Grupo Flor y Canto. “This semester, we’ve been doing a focus on Zumba.”
The group, which has been at UT since 2004, meets once a week to increase student interest in fitness, Jacob said. Membership fees are required to be part of the group, but this specific event, called Fandango, was free to UT students, faculty and staff, according to Jacob. Throughout the event, Grupo Flor y Canto members randomly drew names of participants who won various prizes such as T-shirts, earbuds and pom poms.
Petroleum engineering graduate student Maryam Mirabolghasemi said she has had a positive experience since she started practicing with the group last summer. She said the group is consistently trying to recruit new members.
Each spring the annual Fandango has a different theme, Jacob said. Last year’s dances were based out of Veracruz, Mexico. The group recognizes the Spanish holiday Dia de los Muertos by hosting an educational event called Las Calaeas.
The event includes dances, theatre performances and educational displays about the significance of the day, while incorporating other groups such as Texas Latin Dance, UT Ballet Folklorico and several Latino fraternities.
Roxanne Hall, UTPD staff member, said she went to the event to see if she enjoyed Zumba before committing to paying for classes.
“I just got through a big move and a lot of traveling and stuff like that, so it’s time to start focusing on me again,” Hall said.