Thursday, March 10, 2016

Tina Vo, Salsa Squared Story

Sara Thompson, programming coordinator for the Art & Learning Center (ALC), sets up for the "Salsa Squared" event in the Atrium at The University of Maryland's Stamp Student Union, on Wednesday, March 9, 2016. She starts with setting up a table near the entrance to display t-shirts and information about the ALC.

Thompson (left) speaks with Sarah Smith (right), operations manager for the ALC, about what else needs to be done for set up and who else needs to come. Smith is Thompson's right-hand woman for the event and provides any needed assistance that Thompson may need.

Thompson brings in food and refreshments for the salsa dip samples and demonstrations, pulling the cart to the other side of the room where the main food area will be located.

Thompson helps Larry Tumlin, chef manager, unload beverages from the cart so he can set up the main food area.

Thompson and Smith prepare beverages at a separate table from the food. 

As the event officially begins, Thompson enthusiastically greets attendees. She is standing next to Christina Banalopoulou, the salsa instructor of the night, ready to introduce her to everyone.

Thompson plays music through her phone from the back of the room as the first "salsa" in "Salsa Squared," the salsa dance lessons, begin.

Thompson is in charge of playing and stopping the music. She controls the music on her phone which is connected to a speaker set on a chair in the back.

Thompson and Smith watch the salsa dance lessons from the back.

Thompson chats with Banalopoulou and one of her dance assistants, Dan Dillipane, as everyone takes a quick break from the salsa dance lessons to see a food demonstration.

Thompson watches Chef Tumlin perform a food demonstration along with the crowd as the second "salsa" in "Salsa Squared," the salsa dip samples and demonstrations, begins.

Chef Tumlin provides a live demonstration to attendees on how to make various salsa dips, including mango salsa. 

Thompson tries out some salsa dip along with everyone.

As the salsa dance lessons resume, Thompson watches the crowd again from the back of the room. This time, with a dimly lit setting to create more of a dance ambiance.

At the end of the event, attendees are asked to fill out evaluations before leaving. 

The evaluations give feedback to Thompson and allow attendees to sign up to hear more about other events going on with the ALC.

Thompson hands out a free t-shirt to attendees that fill out an evaluation at the end of the night. The t-shirt designs were the winners from a t-shirt design contest the ALC held.

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