After School Dance Fund
The After School Dance Fund was founded by Ricardo Loaiza in 2010 as a result of the fast growing and overwhelming attendance of the community to the popular Annual MCPS Latin Dance Competition.
This Latin dance competition needed a larger venue rather than the traditional school auditorium or gym, where it was held for the first ten years of its existence. The After School Dance Fund became alive to organize, finance and find a place to accomodate the one thousand plus attendees, and at the same time provide a world class stage for the MCPS Latin Dance Teams to compete on. The Music Center at Strathmore became the HOME of the Annual MCPS Latin Dance Competition in 2010.
The Latin Dance Competition started in 1999 as a small competition at Seneca Valley High School, with few schools competing. It has grown into the event that defines Hispanic Heritage in Montgomery County Public Schools. Through out the years, since its inception there have been between four (4) and up to Ten (10) Montgomery County Public High Schools competing, and showcasing their talent through their choreographies. This event allows students to showcase popular Latin dances, work as a team, and compete with and against other schools.
There are eight divisions in our Competition, six are couples (Salsa, Bachata, Merengue, Cha-Cha, Parent/Student and Jack-n Jill) and two are group divisions (Best in Show and Alumni).
Students, who might normally not get involved in extracurricular activities; join their After School Dance Club to discover a sense of school pride and pride within themselves. This competition allows our community and our parents to get involved and shared the pride of their heritage.
The After School Dance Fund expanded its operations in 2012 with a pilot project and a DC Schools competition in conjunction with Wilson High School and the Next Step Public Charter school in Washington DC.
We have continued our expansion with both the Public and Charter schools (Now six schools) and in partnership with the Washington Performing Arts Society.
Our mission is to Promote health, exercise, cultural diversity and unity through Latin dance education.
The annual Latin dance competition at Strathmore is by far the County’s premier Hispanic grassroots community event, because it defines the different cultures within Hispanics, and non-Hispanics through Latin dancing.