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Students are preparing for competition

Back and forth they moved: one, two, three, pause, five, six, seven, spin — and the music was loud.

Jorge Vargas, 17, and Jessica Aguilar, 16, co-captains of Sabor Latino, the Latin dance club at Gaithersburg High School demonstrated dance moves for the students trying out for the school’s competition team after school on Sept. 6.

Gaithersburg is one of 14 Montgomery County Public Schools that has a Latin dance club, according to Ricardo Loaiza, executive director of the After School Dance Fund, a nonprofit created in 2010 when the high school Latin Dance program grew so large that the annual competition moved to The Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda.

Until 2010 the dance competitions were held at different high schools, starting with Seneca Valley High School in Germantown in 2000.

The two founders of the dance clubs were Paula Pero, foreign language resource teacher at Albert Einstein High School in Kensington, and Vilma Najera, foreign language resource teacher at Clarksburg High School, according to Loaiza.  <read more>

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