Carlos Andrés Gómez can’t wait to dance again.
The spoken word artist shared his desire to dance the salsa with friends again as he began a virtual performance for the St. Joseph’s College community through Zoom last month.
Gómez dreams of the celebration, laughter and togetherness that will resume when the social distancing regulations put in place by New York state to lessen the spread of the novel coronavirus are behind us.
The audience — including students, faculty and staff from St. Joseph’s two campuses and Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Brooklyn — appeared to share Gómez’s desire to succumb to the beat of the music, surrounded by loved ones. They offered an emoji depicting hand clapping in support.
Gómez deliberately fostered a connection with his audience — often taking the microphones off mute — to promote a sense of togetherness while social distancing.
“In line with this unprecedented moment that we’re in, I’ve been thinking about how I’ve been physically distancing myself from people outside my family (my two kids and my partner),” Gómez said during his fourth performance for the College. “But I’m staying really intentional about connecting with the people who I love most — the people who are always there for me and support me.”
Gómez’s poems touched on common themes, including relationships, family, politics and, of course, social distancing.
Spoken Word Artist is Relatable
Gómez encouraged the audience to take part in the event. Sharing stories helped the audience feel accepted.
Raymond Castillo, president of SJC Brooklyn’s Poder Latino club, which sponsored the event, said one of his favorite parts of the event was listening to the relatable issues Gómez discussed in his poems.
“The virtual performance with Carlos was fascinating,” said Castillo, a sophomore double majoring in mathematics and computer science. “I enjoyed watching [Gómez’s] performance because some of his poems were very relatable.
“Aside from his poems, he also shared with us some of his anecdotes, which made the whole experience even more interesting and fun.”