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Ballet Folklórico dancers talk about what dancing means to them and their culture

Posted at 8:15 PM, Oct 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-15 11:10:33-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Ballet Folklórico has been danced for hundreds of years and can be traced all the way back to ceremonial dances of indigenous people.

The term means dances of the people, which is why the dance style encompasses several traditional dance techniques from Mexico’s different regions.

With each dance comes a story. With each costume comes a brief anecdote that tells the story of their ancestors

“To me, it means a lot because my grandparents were the ones who migrated here. My moms from Nuevo Leon Mexico which is the region that I’m wearing right now and they just came over here to give us a better future” Martha Gonzalez, children’s director, and adult group assistant director.

Gonzalez said to her this is more than just a dance.

“It’s incredible because a lot of these kids their parents are the ones who migrated over here or their grandparents so they're bringing a little piece of their culture a little seed of Mexico to the United States,” said Gonzalez.

She explained that Folklorico dancing doesn’t always look the same.

“It’s Mexican folk dance so we dance different regions for states of Mexico, so every state of Mexico has various different regions. So, the one that I’m wearing right now is the Central De Nuevo Leon which is a northern region in Mexico,” said Gonzales.

Gonzalez said she’s started dancing at four but gradually launched into other styles of dancing like cheer.

“There was always that little piece of me that I wanted to get back into it. I wanted to get back into my heritage and what better way to dance the Mexican songs the mariachis bandas than bringing it through your culture,” said Gonzalez.

Fellow dancer Veronica Vargas also started dancing Folklórico at a young age.

“I started dancing back in Mexico when I was 12 and I stopped for a few years when my parents took me to the U.S. So, I found this group 20 years ago and I really like the vibe that they had. It’s like a family we’ve been growing together,” said Veronica Vargas, a dancer with Huaztecalli Compania Danza Mejicana.