On Thursday, Oct. 2, Latino Student Services will host UNC Charlotte’s second annual Latino Awareness Showcase. Held in James H. Barnhardt Student Activity Center, the event will include live music, traditional Latino food, and dance lessons.

The main goal of the event is to bring together different Latino organizations on campus for a culture-immersed evening of fun as well as to allow students of other ethnicities to experience what Latino culture is all about.

“We want to engage the community, we want to support those students, but we also want to make it about the broader and larger community,” said Carlos Mendez, Assistant Director for Latino Student Services.

Some of the organizations in attendance will be Lambda Theta Alpha Sorority, Lambda Theta Phi Fraternity, Chi Epsilon Sigma Sorority, Latin American Student Organization, Hispanic College Awareness Program, Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and Latino United Empire.

According to Mendez, the food provided will consist of Spanish rice, smoked chicken, loaded potato skins, a nacho bar, Mexican salad, chicken bacon sliders, flan, cheesecake, pineapple punch and lemonade.

The dance lessons will be taught by two instructors from Move Dance Studios. They will start out by giving a 30 minute demonstration before moving into Salsa and Bachata dance lessons for attendees. Once the lessons are complete, attendees are welcome to show their moves on the dance floor as the live band takes the stage.

Last year, Mendez noted that there were about 80 to 100 attendees that came and went throughout the evening. This year, he is hoping for over 100 people to attend. Mendez believes this is an attainable goal with the support they have this year through fraternities, sororities and student organizations.

“The school is so big and there are so many students here that it’s difficult for them to find the spaces where they can truly embrace their culture. Also, I think they want people to see their culture. And I think that’s what we want as well. We want people to see the space as a space where they can come get together, but we also want people to just come in and learn a little but more.”

Admission to the event is free and anyone is welcome to attend. To find out more, visit: https://campusevents.uncc.edu/latino-awareness-showcase.

Sara Carson is the News Editor for the Niner Times and has been working with the newspaper since August 2013. She is a communications major with double minors in journalism and English.