Archives for the month of: August, 2014

Papa

I will never forget the look on my grandfather’s face when I entered onstage in my USC inspired ranchera to the sound of La Negra. His normal dazed expression turned into a smile and a light of joy twinkled in his eyes. I have never seen him so happy in the 14 months he had been bedridden at that point. That moment I had with my grandfather onstage made the work and effort I put into planning the folklorico show worth it. I began dancing folklorico because my grandma and my papa wanted me too. Now I dance folklorico to honor them.

I began my folklorico journey as a dancer at 4 years old when my grandma persuaded my mom to sign me up for classes. When she was younger, she along with her two younger brothers was able to take a class with a local community group. She learned and performed Las Chiapanecas and fell in love with folklorico. My grandma wanted to continue taking lessons but was unable to due to her family financial situation. When I began dancing, my grandma and papa did everything they could to support me. They took me to my dance lessons, they went shopping with my mom and I for costumes and accessories and they attended my performances.

My grandparents are my biggest fans. They support my evolving role in the folklorico community and strive to be there whenever they can despite the challenges they face. My grandparents set off the perfect chain reaction in beginning my folklorico journey; something I will always be thankful for.

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The Las Vegas Mariachi and Baile Folklorico Conference offers workshops and a performance opportunity at the Las Vegas International Mariachi Festival.

Once again, approximately 250 folklorico dancers and mariachi musicians will learn and perfect choreography and music at the third annual Las Vegas Mariachi and Baile Folklorico Conference.  Hosted by Arizona-based CHISPA Foundation, the conference will occur on September 18 through 20, 2014 at Harrah’s Resort and Casino.

At the end of the conference, all of the participants will take the stage at the Las Vegas International Mariachi Festival on Saturday, September 20, 2014 at the Axis Theatre in Planet Hollywood.

“The opportunity to perform on the Planet Hollywood Axis Theatre is just an experience within itself…it is very exciting to be apart of it,” said Julie Gallego, Executive Director of the CHISPA Foundation.

This year, Silvia Lozano of Mexico City will be the Baile Folklorico director and her dancers from her company, Ballet Folclórico Nacional de México Aztlán will instruct the Master and Advanced folklorico workshops.  Lozano is very interested in young people and their knowledge about our culture, dance, music, costumes and the meaning behind them.  “The moment they know their own culture, that thing is going to give them an identity which is very important,” said Lozano.

Last year’s participant Michael Cervantez is excited to attend the Las Vegas Mariachi and Baile Folklorico Conference again and to learn from Silvia Lozano this year.  “I have seen her stuff. Her dances are beautiful and I am looking forward to learning from her,” said Cervantez.

Last year’s conference attracted 220 participants from across the U.S. and Canada and this year’s folklorico participants will learn dances from several regions of Mexico including Jalisco and Yucatan.  For more information about the Las Vegas Mariachi and Baile Folklorico Conference, visit www.lasvegasmariachiconference.com.

Photos provided and used with permission by CHISPA Foundation.