Edgar Rodriguez

TITLE:

From Salsa, Merengue and Other Hot Rhythms: Popular Dances in Latin America as an accessible form of art and the psychological impact to people

ABSTRACT:

Due to economic circumstances in many countries of Latin America, Art is sometimes an exclusive and elitist practice. Popular Dances in Latin America are not only traditions, but also a form of letting the community be closer to the multiple benefits of these expressions of art in the different areas of the individuals. This paper is the result of research that describes how people through generations, especially in Mexico but also in the whole of Latin America, have grown up listening to music and dancing as important part of their lives. The accessibility that this kind of dances provides to people is invaluable to art because creates a link between members of community that otherwise could not reach the art. Popular dances in terms of this paper, includes not only the reduced conception of traditional folk music like native dances and the ones inherited by the Spanish tradition but also the rhythms adopted by the people in Latin America as a result of the evolution of salsa, cumbia, merengue and reggae and the mixture with some other not Latin rhythms such as pop and hip-hop. In addition to accessibility of community to art, this paper describes how the regular practice of popular dances has impacted people in terms of psychological benefits.

BIO:

Born in Mexico City in 1981. Bachelor in Psychology at the Universidad Intercontinental and Master in Counseling at the Universidad Iberoamericana, He works in the area of Mental Health in private consulting attending Children, Teenagers and Adults, Individually, in Couples and Groups or Families. Since 1996 he has worked as Dance Instructor for many institutions in his country. And has leaded different groups through competitions and exhibitions. Combining two of his big passions; he founded a Theatre and Dance Company in 2000 and have leaded it for 6 years. The plays presented focus not only in entertaining the audience, but also in generating reflection through the themes the company aboard, such as Human Rights and Universal Values. Human Rights have been an irrepressible subject in his work. Gender discrimination, inequality, sexual diversity and multiculturalism issues are some examples of his interests. He has won two National Prizes for his work in these topics and has participated in congresses and symposiums in Mexico and abroad. He plans to specialize in counseling with an artistic approach in the near future.