By Bernie Petit
Like most of us, Fraxedy Gomez looks forward to the weekend.
But not because she gets to sleep in.
Her Saturdays are spent in the dance studio, learning folkloric Latin dance – along with cultural and historic-related content – as a member of the Carolinas Latin Dance Company, supported in part by a $2,500 Arts & Science Council (ASC) Cultural & Community Investment Grant
“Dance has been pretty much my life since I was little,” said Gomez, who has danced with the company since she was 7 years old. “On Mondays I would go to school and I would be excited for dance and would tell myself ‘I’m going to dance on Saturday.’
“‘After Saturday practice, I would be like, ‘aww, I’m done with dance – go to school again and come back.’”
This year, she’s also teaching beginning dancers that are about the same age she was when she started 11 years ago.
“It’s been a new experience because usually I’m the one that’s getting taught,” said Gomez, an 18-year-old senior at Butler High School. “I like seeing how little girls are interested in dancing and hopefully they can do it for as long as I have.”
One of the cultural sector contributors featured in 2014 ASC Annual Fund Drive campaign materials, Gomez said she loves to dance the salsa.
“You get to put your own flair to it – more emotion, more style,” she said. “Salsa is just something you can express yourself in.”
She especially likes performing on stage and making people aware of the Latin American culture found in Charlotte (both of her parents are from Nicaragua). She also appreciates the structure dance provides her.
“It puts you in the right mindset for school and activities and it opens up more opportunities,” she said. “It keeps you busy instead of going off doing other things and not being responsible. It teaches you how to be responsible.”
ASC is You & Me giving everyone in our community something to cultural to do on the weekend – and every day of the week.