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Mariachis Visit Swarthmore

The Spanish Academy recently had the pleasure of welcoming a Mariachi band for a very wonderful evening performance. Students truly enjoyed being introduced to this exciting style of music as some could be heard singing along with songs and a few were actually selected to dance with the band as well! All in all it was a great evening and everyone in attendance definitely left the performance with a smile on their face.

-Max Brazo, Program Assistant
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¡Multitud Instantánea! (Flash mob!)



The Spanish Academy’s Cultural Exploration class on Improvisational Theater surprised the rest of MMLA with a Flash Mob rendition of Shakira’s “La La La” at dinner Thursday night.
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Bomba y Plena

As the sun once again sets over the Pomona College campus, the students in the Spanish Academy found themselves using the dance moves they have learned during their cultural activity time. Yesterday evening, the students danced the night away yet again in Edmunds Ballroom, this time perfecting their movements to bomba y plena. Heavy in percussion, this Puerto Rican music is perfect for dancing, and the students got a dance refresher from a professional instructor. Even some staff members decided to join in!

Rhythm and Moves: How Music and Dance Supplement Learning

While the Field Day activity this past Saturday epitomized the spirit of friendly competition that characterizes inter-academy activities, other events both formal and informal, demonstrate how another theme - music - pervades life at MMLA. In the Spanish Academy, song and dance have been on the menu since the first day of classes.

¿Qué Te Pasa, Calabaza?

Tuesday began with laughter and energy, as some of our boys presented a sketch of comical social interactions. These included finding a seat in the dining hall, secret handshakes and overbearing greetings. The crowd favorite, however, was definitely “how (not) to talk to a girl”.

Comillas Foundation

One of the recent visits that Academy students made was to the Comillas Foundation, the international center for the teaching of Spanish as a Second Language. Originally built as a Seminary for the underprivileged, it soon became a world-renowned Pontificial University, accredited directly by the Pope. In the mid-1960s, the academic activity was moved to Madrid, and the building finally fell into ruin.

Learning Spanish in Style!

Time at the Language Academy is flying- it is hard to believe we’re already entering our third week! Students who were hesitant at the beginning of the program are now speaking with much greater fluency.

Comillas Academy Pays a Visit to “Albergue La Peña”

After watching the movie “The Way” in Spanish, our students learned about the importance of this pilgrimage, the traditions behind the story of James (Santiago), and the different paths people take to get to Santiago de Compostela. Comillas just so happens to be the 15th day on the North Route of El Camino de Santiagoand has a nice but very small shelter.

Have You Ever Been Chased by a “Cabezón”?

Have you been chased by a “Cabezón”? We have. Although not many know the origin about this tradition, during the festivities of Saint Peter, a few “cabezones” (translation: big heads), march through the streets and chase people at the local plaza. The more you try to hide or run away, the more they will chase you.

Students Try on Traditional Cantabrian Costumes

Carlos Pérez Balbas and his wife, Maria Josefa “Curri” Fernandez Sampedro came to El Esplón to show their traditional Cantabrian costumes. They have several dresses, a few general decorations and a huge pride for their ancestors. We had one of the most beautiful experiences so far with people from Comillas. They live just across the street from El Espolón (our school). Once Saul, the person who is in charge of El Espolón, learned we could be interested in this intercultural experience, he contacted them to visit our Academy.

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