The sounds of the ballet shoes hitting
the floor in unison could be heard
in the quiet places of the Latin music
that accompanied the performers.
On December 2nd, Spanish teacher
Adam Long’s two IB Spanish classes
went on a field trip to view a matinee
performance of a ballet folclórico
(folklore ballet, for those who don’t
The students left school for the
Scottish Rite Temple where the ballet
took place at 10 a.m. The ballet lasted
until 11:00 with students returning to
school at 11:30.
The performance was equal parts
dance and live music. In between
each dance, “Los Tres Amigos” (soon
to be “Los Cuatro Amigos” with the
addition of a new drummer) performed
traditional Spanish songs
on acoustic guitars.
Each song correlated to the
style of dance that would be
performed and originated in
the country where it was developed.
A wide variety of dances
were shown, including the
salsa, tango, flamenco, and
bomba. Many Latin dances
have influence from both Africa
and Europe, with Caribbean
dances having a
style which is unique to
One of the most
memorable dances was the
Brazilian samba, in which the
female dancers wear elaborate
feather headdresses. The tempo of the
samba is generally quite fast, as is the
beat of most of the other styles; Latin
music and dances
tend to be very upbeat.
Dance is an iconic
part of the culture
that IB Spanish students
study in their
class. Unlike in previous levels
of Spanish, where there
is a set curriculum that
must be followed, upper
level language students
have more freedom.
part of Spanish class is definitely
the most unique. Speaking has
gotten a lot easier,” junior and SL-A
Spanish student Drew Heinsius said.
IB Spanish is divided up into two
different levels, SL-A and SL-B. SL-A
is the equivalent of Spanish 5, while
SL-B is similar to the sixth year of the
course. The small number of students
in both classes means that field trips
are much easier.
“The size of the class definitely
makes it easy, with only sixteen people,”
Although there are an abundance
of performances of The Nutcracker
and other Christmas ballets during
the holiday season, this performance
was unique due to the cultural influences.
“It was more rhythmic than other
ballets,” Heinsius said.
The field trip allowed students to
see the Latin culture that they learn
about each class in action, while viewing
a beautiful, artistic performance.