"It's in Our Veins"
Dance Schools and the Construction and Maintenance of a Latin American Identity
Keywords:Immigration, Diasporic Identities, Canada, Edmonton, Chilean Identities, Latin American Dance, Latin American Identities
A recent influx of Latin Americans into Edmonton, Alberta, has been met with a significant rise in interest in Latin music and dance. Many Latin dance studios in Edmonton are continuing to gain popularity with people of Latin American descent and many other Canadian cultural groups. This paper focuses on one Latin dance studio in Edmonton called ETOWN SALSA. Through a narrative interview with the owner, coupled with supplementary research about cultural identity tied to Latin music, this paper provides insight into how Latin dance studios’ presence helps develop and maintain diasporic Latin American identities. For many Latin Americans, music and dance are an essential way in which they can connect to their home countries. Not only can Latin dance help new immigrants find a sense of familiarity, but dancing can also help second or third-generation immigrants reconnect with their heritage. Our findings also suggest that non-Latin Americans who regularly participate in Latin dancing can identify and connect more with Latin American communities in Edmonton.
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