On March 12, Oldfield Middle School students got a glimpse into Spanish culture when Sol y Sombra Spanish Dance Company visited the school and performed two traditional Latin dances for Languages Other Than English, or LOTE, week.
Artistic Director Maria Loreta and her fellow dancers, Sofia Islam and Ricardo Santiago, performed Sevillanas, or traditional Spanish folk dances, which date back to ancient Mediterranean culture. The dancers used castanets, or clackers, as percussion instruments to coincide with the beat of the music. The low-pitched castanet, called el Chico, was used as the bass, and the high-pitched one, or la Chica, was used to create soprano tones.
The second dance, which was performed by Ms. Islam, was the Flamenco – a highly-expressive Latin dance form. Ms. Loreta explained that the dance was traditionally used by many parents and children for entertainment before technology. The solo dance is characterized by hand clapping and intricate footwork, body, hand and arm movements. It is also usually accompanied by a singer or guitar player.