The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


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February 23, 2024

Editor learns salsa dance, feels welcome at catina

It may be difficult for some people to fathom or even believe me when I say that I can be shy. It is rare, but very true.

Theresa Pfister, a&l editor

So when I was asked to salsa dance by a man who was probably born with maracas in his hands, I literally ran the other way. If it wasn’t for my friend who got coaxed into dancing a little rumba, I might’ve left. The dancing part didn’t necessarily scare me; I had taken a social dance class in high school, and luckily, we covered the salsa. Some people are blessed with a natural rhythm, but I’m definitely not one of them. Unless it involves krumping or the Jersey Turnpike, count me out. Not quite. With his hand waiting to take mine, the strange, unwelcoming feeling of embarrassment came over me. Some people say embarrassment is a humbling experience, but I have to say that is just not the case. I finally couldn’t bear the cajoling anymore, or how heated my face was getting from the panic, and I was walked over to the dance floor.

The Tegan and Sara lyric “all eyes are on me now” kept running through my head, as all the savvy salsa dancers watched me attempt the foreign dance. But after some coaching and reassuring words through broken English from my new dancing partner, I felt a little relaxed, and unfortunately out of shape. Throughout our dance together, I never felt judged or like I was entering a party I wasn’t invited to. The language was different, but the feeling in the room was relaxed and friendly.

I never even knew salsa dancing existed in Erie until I started going to Señor Coyotes on Saturday nights, a cantina and grille on Fourth and State streets. I’m always on the lookout for different cultural exposure in my small town of Erie, and Señor Coyotes definitely has it. The owner, Ismael “Ishy” Aguilar, turned what used to be the Marketplace into a Southwest/Mexican and American fusion that appeals to all different tastes. The atmosphere, especially on Saturday nights, is quite authentically Mexican. At times I felt like I wasn’t even in Erie, and it made me wish I knew how to speak at least some Spanish so I could talk to the Spanish speakers around me. With my friend’s proficient Spanish skills, we met some really great people, especially Ishy.

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It amazes me how diverse Erie actually is, and I think more places should exist that bring different types of ethnicities together. I want to know the other people who live in this city I’ve grown up in, and experience cultures other than the ones I’m surrounded by every day. It’s too easy to lose sight of Erie’s diversity. It’s sad that it seems divided at times, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

I’ve always felt more than welcome at Señor’s, and I never would’ve dreamed that I’d ever salsa dance in Erie beyond the walls of that social dance class in high school. Even though I’ve never been there, I literally felt like I was in Cuba dancing with a local, and everyone around me was having a genuinely good time. If that’s not incentive enough, Gannon students get a special discount with their I.D.s.


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