Has anyone ever asked you why you dance folklorico?
The truth is that each and every one of us has our own personal reason (s) for dancing this style of dance. Whether you started dancing as a child or as an adult, for pleasure or just happened to take a folklorico class in college and then realized you wanted to be a part of a folklorico company...you have YOUR STORY and YOUR REASONS.
For the members of Ballet Folklorico Company dancing folklorico has proved wonderful, not only because of the personal satisfaction it provides, but also because it has brought us together. Our group is made up dancers who are also lawyers, social workers, teachers, chemists, athletes, in high school, in college, etc. We are also a very diverse company with members who are not necessarily Mexican or Mexican-American. We have and have had members from the Philippines, Guatemala, El Salvador, Tahiti, Hawaii, Nicaragua and other parts of the world and who, for some amazing reason, come together off and on the stage because of their love for FOLKLORICO.
This week we would like to share some of our reasons and stories with all of you in the hope that you will share your stories with us as well.
"Initially, the reason I sought to dance folklorico was to make the dream I had as a little girl come true. The colorful dresses flying through the air, the bright sounds of the mariachi, and the rhythmic accenting of feet made my heart flutter and I wanted to be a part of it. After joining, the reason I dance has transformed. The movements, the sounds, the pulse, the dresses, the stories - it is all unique to our heritage. It is a window to the past where we not only take a peek at our rich and vibrant culture, but we get to take part in it! To me, folklorico is much more than just dance; it is a movement of cultural preservation. Though I am just a beginner, when I share the floor with my fellow exceptionally talented dancers, I feel at home. The Spanglish, the laughter, the dedication, the kindness and warmth of everyone, and the loving parents who are just as dedicated as their children, it makes me so proud to dance folklorico, and more importantly, it makes me proud to be me! " -Mallory, Los Angeles, CA
"I dance folklorico because it represents my culture and where my family is from. My mother wasn't able to do it as a child so she put me to dance and now I'm seen as her version of the American Dream."
-Christ Bautista, Norwalk, CA
"I am a Dancer! I don't dance Folklorico because I want to, I dance because I need to..." -Sirila Alvarez, Azuza, CA
" I dance because there is a story behind every song and I love to hear and dance those stories. Especially dancing with someone who has a very important one to tell. It's like we are poets with our mind and body. No matter what dance we do or if we hardly know how to dance, if our hearts there, it will be beautiful. It also helps me open up my mind and have different perspectives on situations."
-April Diaz, Las Vegas, NV
"I dance folklorico because it connects me to my roots. Dance is the voice of the people, and through dance I can truly express who I am and where I'm from. Folklorico is a big part of my life; it helps me get through rough patches as well as celebrate good times. The feeling of being onstage (I've found) is unmatched. Folklorico has helped me improve myself as a person, and I appreciate all the chances I get to dance (whether it be practice or performances)."
-Mileena Contreras, Los Angeles, CA
" Me llena de nostalgia el poder ser parte de de una danza folklórica sabiendo que mis raíces son Mayas y para los que sabemos un poco de historia es más que seguro que provenimos de una de las primeras razas que son los toltecas, estoy orgulloso de ser Guatemalteco amante de la marimba me gusta la música y las danzas folklóricas y lo mejor mantener nuestras costumbres y tradiciones." -Daniel Lorenzo, Guatemala City, Guatemala
" I dance folklorico because it's become a passion. As defined by Mirriam-Webster, a passion is a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something. Once you start dancing folklorico you can't stop, at least I can't. I yearn to learn new dances, to experience new or more performances or getting new dresses and taking as many selfies as possible. I live, breath and sleep folklorico. Ask my coworkers. They'll see me watching practice videos on my 15 min breaks. Another reason I dance folklorico is because it embodies my culture and everything beautiful about it. From the music we dance, to the vestuarios we get to flaunt or as simple as the regions each dance comes from. There's so much history in folklorico dances that we can't learn from a history book, but we get to tell the stories with our bodies. Folklorico is one of the many traditions here and in Mexico. I'm proud to be Mexican as well as a folklorico dancer. There's nothing about dancing folklorico that I don't love."
-Brittany Lopez, Claremont, CA
"I dance folcklorico because it connects me with my culture and it helps me understand where I come from. When my mom put me in it, I hated at first, but year after year I began to love folklorico more and more. I like that feeling before you go on stage, but once you're on stage it like such a joyful, happy, feeling I get in my heart. I love watching people's reactions when I dance. I can really say that folcklorico is integral to my life. "
-Iztli Velasco, Downey, CA
"I dance folklorico because it represents who I am and where I come from. I also enjoy the feeling of being on stage and dancing to and being one with the music." -Cynthya Contreras, Los Angeles, CA
" There are many reasons why I dance, but probably the most important one would be that I am truly the happiest onstage. I love the music, the lights, the audience. It's also a way to feel connected to my heritage and traditions. Even when I'm having a bad day, just walking into the dance studio takes all my problems away. That is why I dance folklorico. " - Melissa Isabel Cortez, Los Angeles, CA
"Folklorico es pasion y allegria! Es un juego muy bonito!."
-Jonathan Trejo, Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico
"I dance folklorico to live! " -Kareli Montoya, Los Angeles, CA
So...why do you dance folklorico?
I am looking forward to reading all of your comments! If you enjoyed this blog and would like to read my past and future blog posts, please subscribe below!