Photo by Garland Wright/Fall River County Herald-Star
Edgemont sophomore Raelee Provorse and Dance Instructor Jamey McCaskill demonstrate Salsa dance steps for the elementary students.
By Garland Wright
EDGEMONT – As part of the vibrant celebrations for Hispanic Heritage Month, Edgemont School District welcomed a distinguished guest instructor, Jamey McCaskill, to teach Salsa dancing to students and staff. Garland Wright, Edgemont’s K-12 Spanish teacher, organized the event to enhance the students’ understanding of Spanish culture through dance.
Wright, who often incorporates song and dance into her Spanish classes, observed the students’ enthusiasm for dance. Recognizing the desire for more exposure to Spanish-inspired dance moves, she set out to find a professional dance instructor. Through the National Dance Clubs of Rapid City, Wright connected with McCaskill, a highly qualified dance instructor and former nationally top-12-ranked competitive ballroom dancer.
McCaskill, known for his extensive expertise and demanding schedule as a traveling dance instructor and competition judge, was recommended by the National Dance Club of Rapid City. McCaskill is the National Director at National Dance Clubs, an organizer at the Charleston Dance Classic, a Leadership and Growth Coach at Maxwell Leadership, and a Co-Organizer of the Music City Invitational. Fortunately, McCaskill’s typically-booked schedule allowed him to spend a day teaching Salsa to every student at Edgemont School.
During the engaging and educational sessions, McCaskill taught students various dance moves and delved into Salsa’s cultural and historical aspects. He shared insights about the Afro-Cuban roots present in Salsa music and discussed the evolving music fusions that Salsa dance incorporates.
Beyond dance steps, McCaskill emphasized the importance of leadership and followership in partner dancing, underlining the significance of mutual respect and communication within a dance partnership. He demonstrated proper etiquette for inviting a partner to dance and escorting them on and off the dance floor.
Moreover, McCaskill highlighted the holistic benefits of dance, promoting its role in maintaining physical well-being and its connection to the learning process. He challenged the students to try incorporating a Salsa dance into their upcoming school dances, encouraging them to continue embracing dance as a way to stay active and connected to diverse cultures.
The students and staff thoroughly enjoyed the Salsa dance workshop, leaving them not only with newfound dance skills but also a deeper appreciation for Hispanic culture. The event exemplified the Edgemont School District’s commitment to fostering cultural understanding and appreciation among its students.
For more information about the National Dance Club of Rapid City and their dedication to spreading the joy of dance, visit www.nationaldanceclub.com.