Mexico native brings his love of Latin Dance to WVU

Hidden History

West Virginia University is bringing students and the community together to experience the art of Latin dance. 

“I can clear my mind when I’m dancing and that is something I need when I am here,” said Demian Gaxiola, Latin Dance Instructor.   

WVU student Demian Gaxiola grew up in Mexico and said music has always played a huge part in his life.

“Whenever we have reunions, we have music in the background and a lot of people dancing. It’s something that we enjoy.”

Now Demian is sharing his culture with the Morgantown community.   Two years ago Demian started the WVU Latin Dance Club. 

He added, “I was looking for a place here to keep training or learning but there was nothing. Not even clubs or anything. I was lucky to find people who are very interested in this.”

Dance is more than learning a series of steps to music; for many it’s a way of expression and communication.

Demian said, “They come super stressed from school… so they have a place to really be themselves and not think about anything from outside.”

For Grafton native Marriah Ellington, dance gives her self-esteem and a better understanding of life. 

“Just feel sort of an open friendly environment, and I felt like that was something that was missing from my life and a lot of my friends general day to day experiences.”

The club meets twice a week.

Marriah said, “On Tuesdays we usually dance for the first hour Salsa. The second hour bacata and then Fridays we dance kizomba and bacata.”

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