Folklorico offers dancers a physical connection to culture

Photo by Daniel Lloyd Blunk-Fernández via Unsplash

By Kim Perez

Folklorico is a beautiful ceremonial dance originally performed by indigenous people in Mexico. The term itself means dance of the people. In its earliest forms, folklorico was very connected to storytelling. A dance may have represented an animal from the region or a retelling of a historical event that happened there. 

Folklorico has always been a social dance, however, meant to represent the community.

“Folklorico is a type of dance that reflects the traditions, cultures and beliefs of people in a particular region,” junior Angela Valiente said.

This traditional dance has come to have a mix of folk culture as well as more established forms such as ballet as Spain and other countries came into contact with Mexico. Seeing these influences, Folklorico is often marked by pointed toes, exaggerated movements, and highly choreographed dances. 

Today, Folklorico ranges from more traditional to more modern as different groups blend American and Latin American culture.

Performers are able to express themselves and their culture through these dances, and are able to show their unity and pride in their culture. 

“Folklorico dance expresses the life and spirit of people through its movement and music. To me Folklorico is a symbol of where I am from and what I love to do,” Valiente said.

Both its bold movements and unique music show off the highly skilled dancers and their culture. Often folklorico incorporates a percussive beat as the shoes have nails in both the heel and the toe. The dancer therefore becomes a part of the music.

This style of dance is very physically demanding, but well worth it as it displays some of the many arts Mexico has to offer. Being able to be a part of their history is very important to folklorico dancers. This is one of the reasons they give their all when implementing these demanding dances in front of an audience. It is more than just about dance, but culture as well.

“Once I started and I had my first performance, I fell in love with the feeling of showing off my culture and its beauty to the world,” Valiente said.

All in all, showing pride in your culture is exceedingly important as it brings confidence and satisfaction that your culture is doing things other people enjoy. Folklorico is becoming more widespread and is a good pillar for different cultural traditions entering the mainstream.