This year the LUM Port of Hope event promises to be an exciting evening filled with great food, cash bar and lively entertainment, including three dance groups. Throughout the event, participants will be treated to dance showcases from La Milonguera Argentinean Tango Club of Purdue, Irish Dance – Purdue Chapter, and Purdue Salsa Dance Club.
La Milonguera Argentinean Tango
La Milonguera Argentinean Tango Club was founded more than 20 years ago and celebrates the music, culture, language, history, and dance of Argentina. The organization has 50 members, offers tango instruction for all levels, hosts workshops and dance events with live bands, sponsors movie nights, takes field trips, offers public performances, and attends festivals and conventions. James Foster leads the Tango Club and will be dancing with Zahra Ghorrati at this year’s Port of Hope.
James Foster earned a bachelor’s in Biology and is working on his Master’s in Biochemical & Molecular Nutrition both at Purdue. He is originally from Roland, OK, lived in Beijing for four years, and now lives in West Lafayette. After graduates in December, James plans on teaching high school biology and chemistry. He began dancing tango at age 20 and has performed in Los Angeles, Chicago, Beijing, Indianapolis, and San Francisco.
Irish Dance – Purdue Chapter
Irish Dance – Purdue Chapter has eight members and offers instruction in Céilí dance style and for traditional set dances like St. Patrick’s Day, Garden of the Daisies, and The Blackbird. Shannon Doran founded Irish Dance – Purdue Chapter in August 2021 as an organization that gives experienced dancers the opportunity to pursue their passion for performing in a social and competitive atmosphere, allowing for opportunities to share their skills with non-experienced dancers. Members are able to learn from one another and to build friendships through participation in workshops, fundraisers, and multi-cultural events as well as being able to to interact with students and faculty in a collaborative, creative, and inventive environment.
Port of Hope will be their second public performance. They performed for the first time this past weekend at Purdue Family Weekend. At Port of Hope, Irish Dance will dance, in the Céilí style, a hard shoe (like a tap shoe) and a soft shoe (like a ballet shoe) dance with an interactive jig lesson. The members of the Irish Dance club pictured L to R are as follows:
- Shannon Doran, Founder & President, is from Tinley Park, IL, a sophomore pursuing a major in Communications, and a member of Evans Scholars. She started dancing at age two, has been competing in Irish dance for ten years and has danced in Phoenix, Cleveland, Savannah, Indianapolis, and Chicago, where she competed in the Mid-American Irish Dance Competition. Shannon Doran’s great, great, great grandmother, Margret McNulty, grew up in Ballinrobe County Mayo Ireland. Margret fell in love with a much older man from Germany. They had a son named Daniel and immigrated to the Chicago area and Pennsylvania, where she brought her love and passion for Irish culture by sharing family recipes and holiday traditions and maintaining a strong faith.
- Morgan Wetzel, member, is from Highlands Ranch, CO, and a freshman majoring in Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology.
- Christina Pansino, treasurer, is from Elmhurst, IL, and a senior in Film & Video Studies.
- Molly Delaney, Vice President of Choreography, is from Grayslake, IL, and a Freshman planning on pursuing a degree in Environmental and Ecological Engineering
- Samantha Maxwell, member, is a sophomore studying Law & Society. Her grandmother immigrated from Ireland to start the Kelly School of Irish Dance in the United States to spread the pure bliss Irish dancing brings to the community. Not pictured.
Salsa Dance Club
The Purdue Salsa Dance Club is one of the largest and most active student organizations at Purdue. The club focus mainly on Salsa dancing, but occasionally teach Merengue, Bachata, Cha Cha, and other forms of Latin dance. The Purdue Salsa Club provides weekly classes for all levels and provide social nights, where dancers can practice the new choreography taught in class and have fun dancing.
At Port of Hope, the Purdue Salsa Dance Club will demonstrate salsa and bachata as well as offer an interactive mini-lesson.