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Kennedy’s Latin Dance Team Competes

Khairatun Iskandar, Reporter

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After a few months of practice, John F. Kennedy competed in their very first Latin Dance Competition at the Strathmore Music Center. They competed against Einstein, Gaithersburg, Magruder, Quince Orchard, Wootton, and Watkins Mill High Schools. All schools have competed before.

There were many types of dances, but Kennedy only competed in two. Yanci Amaya and Jordy Cisneros competed in the Merenge while Jason Guzman and Sofia Izcoa competed in the Bachata. Out of those two, Kennedy didn’t win any awards.

Kennedy spent two months preparing prior to the competition. Assistant Principal Carol Fernandez sponsored the team and has experience with a middle school team and choreography.   

The  team did not  expect to win the competition. “I think we can [win], but I wouldn’t say this very first competition, and we just need more practice time,” Amaya said.

Lane Jefferson, a foreign language teacher at Kennedy and former competitive Latin dancer,  was the first coach of the team. “Over 50% of our student population is Hispanic and we didn’t have a team and it didn’t make sense to me,” he said.  

Jefferson hoped it would create other positive things. “I thought it was a way to bring in some students who might not be interested in some of the other after school activities. We’re offering them to get more involved in the school,” he said.

The team started recruiting two months ago.

“A lot of people came but once they started realizing it’s not something you can just come and go and it’s a commitment, everybody started not going and then just the few that stayed knew that they had to commit,”   team leader Sofia Izcoa said.

The team hopes to recruit more people. 

“Don’t be shy because you gotta start somewhere, so join  and come on out,” Mr. Jefferson said. 

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