Bailando Con LASO: ‘Under The Sea’ Prom Gives Students A Taste of Latin Culture

By Alli Getchell, Contributing Writer

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The Latin American Student Organization (LASO) hosted their “Under the Sea” themed prom on Thursday, Oct. 19 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m in the Student Center Ballrooms. Students attended the prom to enjoy dancing and learned about the unique sounds and food within the Latin American culture.

All 150 tickets were sold out on Eventbite leaving about 20 students who didn’t purchase their tickets in advance outside the ballrooms entrance.

LASO cosponsored with The Brotherhood La Hermandad, Montclair State Dance Company, Unified Asian American Student Organization (UAASO) and many other organizations. The role of the cosponsors were to help promote the event and sell tickets.

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MUFASA & UAASO students:
Top Row: Alisa Do (sophomore), Jacob Tang (sophomore), Kaitland Khan-Hosein (senior), Jamie Sandig (junior), Kieu Linh Hoang (sophomore), Andrew Nguyen (junior), Bianca Trinidad (sophomore), Lee Luu (senior), Elizabeth Esguerra (sophomore)
Second Row: Patrick Reyes (senior), Jesse James Nick Catral (senior), Joshua Atienza (sophomore), Brian Chong (junior), Daniel Mobo (senior)
Alli Getchell | The Montclarion

“Preparation for this prom has been ongoing for several months,” said junior biology major Jean Cabral, the only prom king nominee.

Latin American food was served, oceanic decorations were in place and DJ Cruz played Latin hits, such as “Mi Gente” by J Balvin and a Baltimore Club remix to the merengue hit “El Beeper.”

The prom had beef and cheese empanadas, pernil (pork leg), different kinds of rice, chicken, beef, plantains and soda. There was even a nicely decorated cake that tied into the nautical theme of the event.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>The LASO
Prom has a tasty Under the Sea themed cake! @laso1970 @TheMontclarion #msustudentvoice pic.twitter.com/iSfThQaygZ

— Babee Garcia (@babee_garcia) October 20, 2017

DJ Cruz shared what motivated him to be a part of the LASO and its prom.

“I am very close to the organization [LASO] and I will try to do every event that [Montclair State University] asks me to do,” DJ Cruz said. “I just want students to be involved and exposed to the culture.”

Prom queen nominees included freshman justice studies major Luz Corado, undeclared freshmen Darllene Severino and Liany Jimenez. Each of these ladies was dressed in semi-formal wear for Thursday night’s prom and had lots of fun.

“I am heavily involved with LASO, and they noticed that I was bringing a lot of people to the events,” Severino said. “I would say to people, ‘Hey, what are you doing today? Let’s go [to the LASO Prom].’ It’s very positive.”

Corado shared how LASO and its annual prom are able to connect all kinds of people on campus.

“Its a Latin-based club, and you get to know your people,” Corado said. “You can relate to them and you can talk about problems you have. That’s really why I joined. The best thing is that you can really interact. It consists of Hispanics, or Latinos, but it is open to everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re Arabic, Chinese, black, white. You’re always welcome.”

Corado heard about this event from Instagram and campus counselors. What she finds interesting in LASO was the people, group activities and being able to discuss issues involving not only Latinos but everyone.

Sophomore UAASO Secretary Kieu Linh Hoang was attending the prom for the second year.

“We encourage as many of our general body members as we can to come, aside from just our e-board, to help LASO’s event to be as big as it could be,” Hoang said.

She mentioned how the choreographed dance number by Latinismo, a prominent dance group at the prom, especially stood out for her this year.

“The dance was very engaging to watch,” Hoang said. “It made me want to join in with them.”

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Severino getting confetti thrown at her when she won the title as “prom queen”, while Cabral expresses his excitement for her.
Mike Vriesema | The Montclarion

Though Hoang did not have a specific favorite part of the dance, she loved how Latinisimo had each country’s flag around their waist, which showed inclusiveness to all Latin American countries.

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Prom King Jean Cabral and Prom Queen Darllene Severino before their ballroom dance.
Mike Vriesema | The Montclarion

Toward the end of the dance, the prom king and queen winners were Cabral and Severino. The two were honored to be crowned king and queen as they shared a dance on the dance floor.

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