Rising 4th Year
Who you are and Relevant experience:
Hi everyone! My name is Christian Paget and I’m a third year running for Lead Instructor! I was selected as an instructor during my first year and have since fallen in love with salsa dancing and our club. Since my first year, I have been in five showcase dances and choreographed three semesters. I have also taken an active role in leading Weeklies and have taught a number of lessons to organizations outside of our club. I believe our club is successful in many ways, but there is still plenty to improve. I want to be able to further Salsa Club’s mission as Lead Instructor next year.
I have many ideas to help Salsa Club reach its fullest potential as a fun and safe community for learning. One way I envision improving the club is by increasing social dancing opportunities through integration into lessons. Many individuals may not feel comfortable social dancing in the Charlottesville community, and I want to provide these members with a safe and constructive space to practice and improve their skills. Along with more social dancing time, I also want to chiefly emphasize safety in social dancing, whether it be at Salsa Club events or other social dancing events outside of our club, so our dancers feel comfortable no matter where they are dancing.
Another aspect of the club I want to look to improve is lessons. The recent addition of the advanced circle at lessons has been positively received and I want to continue providing members the option of advanced circles at lessons with an added focus on advanced technique within these circles. I also want to create a greater distinction between beginner, intermediate, and advanced circles to maximize how much dancers in each circle get out of lessons. I also want to bring in guest instructors to not only teach styles we typically teach, but also teach other styles like kizomba, zouk, and tango. Finally, I hope to hold turn and technique workshops to help dancers improve their skills outside of partner work. These are only a few examples of ideas I have to improve lessons.
I would like to continue the cultural mission of the club through simple actions such as ensuring the origins of each style are explained and that moves are pronounced correctly when pronounced in Spanish. I want to ensure that we honor the culture behind the dance styles we teach and are respectful in our representation.
Finally, I would like to work with instructors to increase new member retention and improve inclusivity in the club. I want to utilize instructors to more effectively retain new dancers by encouraging current instructors to reach out to new members after the first few lessons. Hopefully, this will provide new members with someone they feel is a resource and a familiar face at future lessons. Additionally, many of Salsa Club’s social events primarily involve the exec board and instructors, making many members feel left out. I want to ensure new and returning members alike feel welcome and included in club events and attempt to bridge the gap between the exec board and the club by increasing inclusivity and transparency.
Overall, the University Salsa Club has done a great job maintaining the club’s mission of teaching salsa dancing and promoting Latin culture through dance, and I would love the opportunity to continue fulfilling our mission while creating a safe and welcoming atmosphere for salsa dancers of all levels.