'Step' into Fort Rucker Hispanic Heritage Month with dance competition
Patrons dance to salsa music during the 2009 Hispanic Heritage Month kickoff at the Fort Rucker Post Exchange.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Area dancers can strut to the beats of tangos, salsas and mambos in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month 2010 during a Hispanic dance competition and cultural parade this fall.

Participants should sign up by July 20 to showcase their fancy footwork during the first-of-its-kind public event, post officials said.

Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

The contest will be held at either the Post Theater or The Landing Zone, with the event date to be announced later, said Sgt. Maureen Jones, 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group retention noncommissioned officer.

"The main reason people should participate is to have fun. Besides the obvious reason to win, the prizes and bragging rights, this is a great way to highlight some of the great dances we have inherited from our Hispanic family," said Sgt. 1st Class David Cofer, Fort Rucker Equal Opportunity tenant activity EO adviser. "Some of the best ballroom dances the world (has) come from Latin America.

"A lot of the freedoms we have are because of the efforts of different kinds of people who have been in the military (and) certainly the Hispanic culture has provided quite a few," Cofer said. "It's important that we remember and important that we celebrate their contributions. Hispanic Soldiers represent about 11 percent of (Fort Rucker's) permanent party Soldiers. They bring a lot to the workforce and to Fort Rucker."

Dancers may participate as soloists, couples or groups. Performances must be Family-friendly, and routine time constraints depend upon the number of participants, Jones noted. The first place winner will perform at the Oct. 14 Hispanic Heritage Month luncheon at The Landing from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Jones is also seeking those of Hispanic origins to sign up for participation in a pre-competition parade-like activity, in which they represent their home countries.

Other events held during September and October include the month's kickoff at the Post Exchange, Sept. 17, with Latin American food samplings and Zumba dance demonstrations, Cofer said. A drawing also takes place for couples to win free dance lessons.

The annual Hispanic Heritage Month Gate to Gate run is Oct. 2, when participants sprint between the Ozark and Daleville gates for fitness and fun, he said.

"I hope to see everyone out at all these great events. They are going to be a blast and educational, too," Cofer said.

For more event information, or to register for the dance competition, call 255-8988.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16