I am super excited to be attending ¡Viva Fest! 2014 on July 25 – August 1 in San Jose, California. For those who don’t know, ¡Viva Fest! is San Jose’s annual Mexican Heritage and Mariachi Festival hosted by the Mexican Heritage Corporation.  This event features quality music and dance workshops that educate its attendees about the Mexican culture. This event has a lot in store for participants attending the 23rd annual event. Listed below is the top 5 reasons why folklóristas should attend ¡Viva Fest! 2014.

5. Networking with the folklórico community – Meeting people is very beneficial for one’s personal and professional life. I love networking with the folklórico community because we all share a common bond and passion. I am always amazed by the number of folklóristas I meet at the festivals/conferences and learning our six degrees of separation. Wherever you go, I feel a folklórista can find a folklórista to visit. I will be seeing my Nor Cal folklórista friends when I am at ¡Viva Fest!.

4. The Location – San Jose is about an hour away from San Francisco and is a great place to visit for all ages.  There are many events happening in Downtown San Jose throughout the month of July.  I plan to see The Tech Museum of Innovation and to explore the nightlife in Downtown San Jose.  I also want to make a pit stop at Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.

The Tech Museum of Innovation Pier 39 San Francisco

3. The Price – According to the ¡Viva Fest! website, the registration fee for the dance workshops is $85 from July 1- July 20.  After July 20, the registration fee is $150.  If you do the math, it will cost about $12 to $13 a day for the classes.  I paid about $150 dollars for round-trip airfare from LAX/SNA to San Jose Airport.  I am hoping to pay $80-$90 per night on a hotel room and if multiple people share a room, it becomes cheaper.

Low Price

2. Quality Folklórico Instruction – Maria Luisa Colmenarez and Jose Tena are very influential maestros within the folklórico community.  They have done their own research on the different Mexican folk dance regions and have developed innovative choreographies. They both co-choreographed the Unofficial Guinness World Record for the Largest Mexican Folk Dance at Danzantes Unidos.  As maestros, they teach the steps and the cultural significance behind them.

My folklórico family jose tena

(I also heard that Rudy García will be guest teaching as well.)

1. An opportunity to perform with Mariachi Sol de Mexíco and Symphony Silicon Valley – I grew up listening to Mariachi Sol de Mexíco in my grandma’s car which makes this opportunity a dream come true for me.  All workshop participants will perform at the ¡Viva Fest! concert at San Jose State University on August 1.  I am positive every folklórista loves the opportunity to perform on a big stage with a live mariachi.  Do not forget your rancheras and your charros!

Mariachi-Sol-De-Mexico-De-Jose-Hernandez_583x336 Symphony Silicon Valley

If networking with the folklórico community, San Jose, a low price, quality folklórico instruction and an opportunity to perform with Mariachi Sol de Mexíco and Symphony Silicon Valley sounds appealing to you, you should attend ¡Viva Fest! .  As a folklórista blogger, it is my duty to inform you of quality workshops that will teach you about the Mexican culture and benefit you as a dancer.

For more information about ¡Viva Fest!, visit vivafest.org.


Folklorico Inspired graduation cap


You know you dance folklorico if you rhinestone a picture of a folklorico dancers on your graduation cap.  Design courtesy of DG Designs.


Miguelito has always been a trusted brand in folklorico foot wear.  I paid around $64 for my pair at Olveritas Village at Olvera Street in Los Angeles.  I am really excited to use them at my rehearsal on Tuesday.  I will write a review on them after my rehearsal.  In the meantime, which brand of folklorico shoes do you prefer and why?

DIY Costume Accessories

A lot of folkloristas I know design their own headpieces for their costumes. For my DIY for my headpiece, I dyed the flower turquoise and added turquoise glitter from puffy paint. It is beautiful, but different. It adds sparkle to any costume which requires flowers. I prefer this look for a huge show with an audience that prefers seeing over the top explosion of color and pizzazz. I am unsure if the traditionalists will care for this too much.

University Folklorico Summit

I will be attending the first annual University Folklorico Summit on February 15-17 at UCR. I am so excited to spend an entire weekend talking about my passion folklorico through an educational standpoint. In addition to, I am on the committee to help bring the summit to life. I am the co-coordinator of social media. I am currently handling the summit’s Facebook, twitter, and blog. Pretty soon, instagram and youtube will be added to mix. In addition to, I am one of the emcees for this year’s summit. Chris Sandoval, a fellow CSUF student and I will be leading discussion forums and rallies for the participants. If you are interested in signing up, click here . Registration costs $4o.
I cannot wait to meet all my fellow folkloristas!

I can’t give myself credit for creating this list but I must share it with the folklorico world.  I have seen it for several years and I hope to add more items as the years go on (#35)


1. You dance folklorico down the hall way instead of walking.

2. You do jarabes y caretillas while waiting in line

3. You perform calmly before crowds, yet suffer anxiety during any type of evaluation or interview.

4. You are well coordinated in folklorico, but you trip over your own feet when walking.

5. A new leotard or a new pair of folklorico shoes make your day.

6. You walk with your feet pointing because of the “ballet” that’s incorporated with our folklorico dancing.

7. You use any floor to practice your steps.

8. You hear Mexican sones at home/events/restaurants, and you need to dance.

9. The top shelf in your closet is filled with your old costumes and dance shoes.

10. You believe that Amalia Hernandez was the best choreographer/maestra EVER.

11. The kitchen and living room have scratches from your folklorico shoes.

12. You can talk about the art of folklorico dancing all day to people who don’t care.

13. When you can’t sit still when you hear folklorico songs.

14. All your friends make fun of you cuz when you stand in a diagonal, diamond, rectangle or a line, because they don’t get the whole concept of choreography and positions.

15. That with every song that comes on at a folklorico or mariachi event you are one of the first ones to start dancing it, even it’s just you or a group of friends.

16. You noticed every mistake made at any folklorico performance, dance movie or TV show. 17. You get all excited when you see any coverage on the news or TV commercial where you hear mariachi music or see folklorico dancers.

18. You are always on the look out for that perfect piece of wood to practice at home on. (Don’t tell me you don’t, cuz you know you do).

19. When you go clubbin and you STOMP while dancing salsa, merengue and even bachata.

20. You get all excited when reading this and cant believe that they FINALLY made one for us. 21. When you can dance for a week straight at ANGF and get teary eyed at its “clausura”.

22. When you jam out to Folklorico music in your car!

23. Every vacation is planned around some kind of event, show, taller, conference, etc.

24. You have more old botines than regular shoes.

25. You know that Miguelito’s is not the local restaurant.

26. You know when the pay-per-song mariachi is chopping out verses to make the song shorter.

27. When you have taught more than 30 years and can’t quit.

28. You refer to Rafael Zamarippa as the “Godfather”.

29. When you come across a Mariachi in a Restaurant you ALWAYS request a “Son”. (As opposed to everyone else who ask’s for rancheras or cumbias or any other nonsense! puros sones!

30. (Guys) you have 3 or more white collared shirts and they ALL have rust stains from the hangers!…(for the hardcore performing bunch)

31. When you think it looks and feels normal to wear BOOTS with SHORTS! Lo

32. When you take better care of your folklorico cd’s than your other cd’s. The floklorico ones are in the original cases and stored away. The others are stacked all over the place out of the cases.

33. You take better care of your dance shoes/botines than your regular shoes. You make sure they are polished, the rubber on the bottom is nice and fresh, you tape your nails when you have to dance outside on concrete. But the others can fall apart and you don’t care. (well maybe you do)

34. When you buy regular shoes you look for nice hard leather soles on them so you can dance at parties without your botines. (that’s me )

35. When you keep thinking of things to add to this growing list. (LOL that’s all of us)

36. When you think or hear of the word “borracho” you don’t necessarily think of a drunk guy.

37. you can name any son a mariachi plays and then dance it in the middle of a restaurant while your friends/family look on in embarrassment.

38. You (girls) have more than 2 pairs of filigrana earrings that you don’t just wear to performances!

39. You (girls) try to fit your rebozos into your everyday wardrobe!

40. You get drunk listening to mariachis play “La Negra” and then proceed to dance it with full-blown choreography!! If you went to ANGF this year, you definitely did this!!

41. When you ask the mariachi at the restaurant to play Casacabel or El Son Veracruzano and they give you that WIDE EYED look cuz they know you just requested it to test them. LOL!

42. When you plan a dance member’s birthday after a rehearsal or performance cuz it’s a good way to have everyone there and they can’t get out of it.

43. when you go to a record store and you always go through the SLIM pickins a the MEXICO section in the hopes to find a good Folklorico CD but then you are never really up to date and the stuff on the radio.

44. You never know the names of current music but you know what son or jarabe is coming on by the first few notes.

Principio del formulario

Final del formulario