Why I Don’t Like Ritmo

If you don't like Ritmo, Shakira will emerge and eat you.


If you don’t like Ritmo, Shakira will emerge and eat you.

Anushka Nair, Staff Writer

It’s everyone’s least favorite time of year: finals are coming up, it’s way too cold outside for no reason, and crappy school events that no one wants are being held nearly every weekend. For example, MECHA holds their annual dance showcase .Ritmo every February, which includes unprepared dances from spanish classes. Many spanish 3 and above classes spend almost the entire first semester practicing for this show. Although it may seem fun and exciting to non-spanish takers, in reality, it is a waste of class time and students’ energy because the show is always a disappointment.

Spanish classes spend at least half of class every day for a whole semester learning a dance that they don’t even want to do because it consumes valuable class time and has the potential to embarrass them in front of everyone. A majority of the students are partnered with someone of the opposite gender -with some exceptions- and must perform with them. There should be no reason for why I should have to dance with some kid who picks his nose and hasn’t showered this week. Additionally, how do I explain to my parents that they have to pay $15 each to see me dance in a sexual manner with some weird kid with a peanut allergy and bad hygiene? Many of the dances include suggestive moves that are uncomfortable to perform for all students except the choreographers who designed them. 

Like me, many students in spanish classes don’t want to participate in the show but are forced to do it because they want a good grade. Although Ritmo isn’t a majority of the grade, it is still important for many students to receive credit for the row they end up in. Many spanish-takers are constantly competing with their peers in order to receive a spot in the front row and receive 20% extra credit on the final which could bump grades by a whole letter. How do you plan on explaining to colleges that you had a 89% in spanish 3 not because of incomprehensiveness of spanish but instead your ability to dance? If ending up in the front  seems easy to you, you who wants to be Tik Tok famous with the skill set of knowing exactly three Tik Tok dances, you may not have realized that every class has a couple of kids who dance at Mission Dance Academy once a week and call themselves “dancers”-who, also, coincidentally, can be found on Tiktok. These kids are the try-hards and will do absolutely anything to end up in the front row in case a Hollywood agent who saunters into high school dances to look for talented students ends up in Valhalla on a friday night.

Although a majority of the dances put on by the spanish classes are a waste of $15, many of the ICED and MECHA performers are quite good and display the culture really well. Ritmo includes MECHA displaying traditional Latin American dances which are a better representation of the culture rather than students applying western dances to pop-spanish songs. But for the majority of students Ritmo is more of a showcase of our poor dance skills.