Eats and entertainment a formula for LSA dinner success

The Latino Student Association hosted a well-attended dinner in the college Union on Sunday evening marked by delicious food and exciting performances.

Students, faculty and staff who attended the event dined on authentic Latino foods including empanadas, pastelon de platano, pollo guisado and arroz con gandules. Tasty mango and vanilla ice creams were available for dessert.

The format of the performances was modeled after "Sábado Gigante," a Spanish-language variety television show that is currently the longest-running Spanish TV program in America. Real-life host Don Francisco, portrayed by freshman Sebastian Jiménez, encouraged the audience to participate as though it were a real live taping; his efforts were complemented by an "Aplauso" sign frequently displayed by one of the models that assisted Francisco. The dialogue was written by the LSA executive board.

Technical difficulties in the first part of the show delayed a hilarious video clip where College Union Director Chip Matthews was interviewed by a rather confused La Cuatro, played by sophomore Magdalena Zambrano, but from then on the show provided non-stop entertainment, including one skit where audience members raced to pop balloons by sitting on them.

The first act culminated with three thrilling dance performances from Geneseo Bhangra, G-Steppas and Las Sopitas Maggie, the dance group from LSA. The second act included a talent competition and an exciting finale.

"A lot of work went into this," said LSA member and SA representative sophomore David Callaway. He said that although the technical failure was frustrating, the subsequent ad-libbing was impressive. "We're all very happy about how [the event] turned out," he said.

"I felt that they have intricately included the audience in the performance," said freshman Kye Shibata. He said he was "very impressed by their MC work and their energy."

"It was really good," said freshman CeCoria Hardy, a member of the G-Steppas dance group.

Other students were more frank: "I liked the chicken," said junior Janny Liu.

The hard work and long hours of preparation put in by LSA and the performers translated into an excellent celebration of Latino culture.