What Does Casa Mean to You?

Casa de Alma script actors. Source: ISP

On Friday and Saturday, April 26th and 27th, Alma Latina held their annual Casa de Alma show for students and parents. The show included beautiful dancing, singing acts, and two guitar acts, surrounding a script that highlighted the issues that families under DACA go through in the United States.

For a lot of students on campus, culture shows are where they make their favorite memories. I asked a few people on board and a few participants what Casa really means to them and their answers are below.

For Yair Guerrero (’21), a sophomore representative on Alma Latina board, this was his first Casa. When asked the question he said, “Casa de Alma is a way I can express, experience, and learn more about my culture at IMSA.”

This was president of Alma Latina, Katherine Lopez’s (’19), third Casa show. Her response to the question was, “My first glimpse of IMSA was attending Casa de Alma when I was younger and watching my sister attempt to do a cartwheel on stage for salsa. From being only a younger sister in the audience to being part of the masterminds behind it, Casa has been a full circle experience for me where I have grown to love the history and traditions of my culture and getting the chance to share that with others.”

This was senior representative Daniel Soto’s (’19) third Casa show as well. His thoughts on Casa were, “I think what really comes to mind when I think of Casa is the Spanish word “ganas.” Although literally just “desire” in English, it has the connotation of passion and used when something is so important to someone that they naturally feel a strong desire to make it look good, work well, etc. And that’s really what I saw in Alma Board when they worked on Casa stuff. One of my favorite examples of this was Yair. Although he liked to seem sort of shy about dancing at first, he did several dances and even agreed to do that part in Board Dance when he and I had to shake our hips for the audience. As a member of board, you don’t have to do a dance, but Yair was really passionate about Alma that he really went for it. We put heart and soul into it, truly. I guess that’s also why we call it the ‘House of the Soul.’”

Frances Balto (’20), a two-time performer, said, “Casa was the first culture show at IMSA that I really felt a part of and like I could claim it as my own, and it continued to be that for me this year. The community is so welcoming and encouraging to try new things, and I’m so happy that I have the opportunity to make so many new friends and learn so much.”

Good job to all the participants! Hopefully Casa continues to bring joy to all future participants as it did for the people mentioned above.

About the Author

Faris Shaikh
Faris Shaikh is originally from Springfield but lives in 1504 A wing with his crusty yet beautiful friends. Faris is a Staff Writer and is constantly bullied by his "lovely" EICs. When he isn't hunched over in his high chair writing articles, he's probably balling (till he falls) playing baseball, ping pong, or dancing to hype music with his buddies.

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