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Students Expand Their Knowledge on Traditional Spanish Culture


Students Expand Their Knowledge on Traditional Spanish Culture

Sam Arvin

                Spanish students get much time in the classroom, but rarely do they get to experience Spanish culture, such as flamenco.

Flamenco is a traditional art form originating in Spain.

                It involves cante (singing), toque (guitar), and baile (dancing), accompanied with handclapping and finger snapping.

                Spanish 3 and 4 students enjoyed the opportunity to witness traditional flamenco performances from Spanish natives who have been performing for years.

                On Monday, April 13, Harrison Spanish students went to Don Quijote, an authentic Spanish restaurant in Valparaiso, Indiana.

                 “Complete with Spanish outdoor-style seating and authentic Spanish cuisine, you'll feel like you stepped right out of Valparaiso and into the bustling streets of Madrid,” says the website for Don Quijote.

                The performance was introduced by one of the flamenco dancers, who spoke part in both Spanish and English, after all, this field trip was to expose students to traditional Spanish culture.

                He instructed the audience to say “Ole!” whenever they felt excited.

                While he was talking, waiters and waitresses came out with plates of food and placed them evenly across the long tables.

                They first served a dish called Tortilla Española, which should have been familiar to all of the Harrison Spanish students on the field trip.

                All students were required to make a Tortilla Española in Spanish 2 as a class project.

                Throughout the performance, the waiters and waitresses continued to bring out different platters of traditional Spanish food.

                “The food was delicious, and it added to the overall experience I had on the field trip,” said Spanish student and Harrison junior Derek Riffert.

The quartet of two dancers, a guitarist, and a singer all entertained the audience throughout its meal.

At the end of their dynamic performance, all performers left the stage except for one dancer, who took eight volunteers on stage.

These volunteers underwent a five-minute training session, and by the end they were able to do the fundamental steps to flamenco dancing.

The non-educational part of this field trip was the journey to the Albanese Candy Factory.

On the way back to Harrison, the Spanish students savored time to satisfy their sweet tooth and shop until it was time to head off towards Harrison again.

                This did not deflect from what the students had learned and experienced at Don Quijote.

                “The performance allowed me to experience the culture of Spain firsthand,” said Harrison junior and Spanish 3 student Brett Leonard. “This is a unique experience, and beneficial to my knowledge and understanding of the Spanish language.”

                Students like Leonard and Riffert wish to further their education, and that would be difficult without opportunities given to them, such as this.