Video thumbnail, University of Huddersfield Salsa Society
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The language of salsa has worked wonders for Huddersfield students from 20 different nationalities.

They are dancing the night away together in the town.

Colombian, Polish, Chinese British and Bruneian people are just some of those who have been using the dance form to break down complex language barriers and make good friends for life.

Cultural differences are brushed to the side at the university’s Salsa Society weekly events and monthly socials, where 50 learners all dance to the same Latin-infused beat.

And it is a hobby that has continued to gain popularity each year, since the dance society was set up by students in 2012.

All the dancers are keen to improve their prowess in both the New York and Colombian styles, while experiencing other exotic forms such as bachata, merengue and reggaeton.

But, more importantly, the dancers use the class as a good excuse to socialise and integrate when they move from their home countries to study.

Rashid Sarker, one of the teachers who is behind the popular club, based at the Revolution bar in Cross Church Street, said: “It’s just a feel-good activity that has proven to be a great way for many people to meet so others from different backgrounds all at once-and it certainly proves that language is no barrier to making a good impression.

 

“Half of all our dancers, who also include non-students, are from different nationalities and I think it attracts so many people from overseas because they have a strong dancing cultural background.

“We teach the students in different groups for an hour each then leave the music on for them to dance to while socialising. But we also hold social nights every few weeks which is why a lot of people join the society in the first place: it helps them feel at home even if they come from thousands of miles away.”

It is a point definitely proven by one of Rashid’s students, 21-year-old Viktorija Ozogova, from Lithuania.

She said: “The society has helped me meet people and make new friends from all over the world.

“I love the welcoming atmosphere and diversity, which helped me settle in when I arrived and was a bit homesick and I enjoy the upbeat latin music and the challenge of learning a new skill that the society gives us.”

New members are welcome to go along to the dance nights, which take place from 7.30pm every Thursday.