OLAS wins congress night show for third year straight


OLAS posing after winning an opporunity to perform thier routine at the Chicago International Salsa Congress. (Photo courtesy of Daisy Hernandez)

By Renato Arteaga, Editor-in-Chief

There were nerves all around
as OLAS had their last group
talk before going on stage for the
performance according Guadalupe
Manriquez, Div. 971.
“We were all really nervous, we
weren’t really sure if we were going
to win for a third time in a row
because we won twice, but we were
all really pumped,” Manriquez said.
“It was time to show the audience
our hard work, so we were all really
This year marks the third time the

Organization of Latin American Stu-
dents (OLAS) has been recognized as

a high school salsa team in front of
professional dancers.
OLAS is one of eight Hispanic
ethnic clubs that represented Lane at

the International Chicago Interna-
tional Salsa Congress in Rosemont,

Illinois at the Westin O’Hare hotel.

The event, nicknamed “Con-
gress,” takes place every February

and hosts dancers around the world
performing routines at the event.
OLAS has won the night show
for the last three years, and beat out
18 teams for a spot to be one of the
two teams given them a chance to
perform their routine as an opening
act in a venue full of professional

Co-President, Guadalupe Man-
riquez, Div. 971, started her journey

with the club her sophomore year,
the first year of their three-peat
“We don’t really get an award,
but it is more of a recognition,”
Manriquez said. “We have won that
the last few years. That’s where we
were kind of more noticed as a high
school team.”
As a club with these victories

under their belt, they still are hope-
ful on retaining this recognition,

according to OLAS member, Aynara
Guato, Div. 982.
“I feel like it motivates us a lot
because it is not a reassuring feeling,”

Guato said. “If you have the mentali-
ty that you’re able to be apart of a

team that already won all these times
and have all this success, it kind of

boosts your confidence and reassures
you to keep working harder to be
able to do it again.”

The club also shared that al-
though they won the last two shows,

this year had some differences that
made their season a little different
than the previous ones.

“We have had three choreogra-
phers, but this year were down to

two,” Manriquez said. “We are also

making sure we highlight Afro-Cu-
ban culture within the dance because

it is forgotten a lot of the times. Peo-
ple just think that Salsa has its roots

in Latin America, but it has a lot of
influence from Africa as well.”
This change in choreography
from the Afro-Cuban cultural
influence branches away from the
traditional salsa that the team has
been dancing with before this year.

“The name itself is Organiza-
tion of Latin American Students,

and that is encompassing multiple
cultures in one,” Guato said. “This
year, we are doing Afro-Cuban, and
for a lot of people that is considered
a Latin culture. I like it a lot, because
it really shows the difference between
how another team or another club is
focusing on one culture.”
Roxany Sauza, Div. 955, another

OLAS member shared that perform-
ing their routine was something

spontaneous, and gathering of new
people to learn something different.
“There is a rush you get,” Sauza
said. “Afterwards it is like, ‘Wow, we
did it, it is over now.’ You just feel
so close, even if you’re not cool with
them, you just feel like you guys did
Guato also added that performing
these OLAS dances on stage pushes
her to do things she did not know

she could do, and the rush of emo-
tions brings a sense of relief.

The club will continue to perform

their winning routine at this year’s
upcoming International Days.