In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, students at Sam Houston High School are using dance to celebrate Hispanic culture. But it’s not just any dance. They are sharing the gift of Ballet Folklorico.
Ballet Folklorico is a genre of traditional Mexican folk dance used to celebrate Hispanic culture throughout the year. It’s often performed at events for Mexican Independence Day and Día De Los Muertos, also known as “Day of the Dead.”
Students from Jazmin Duran’s Ballet Folklorico class at Sam Houston performed pieces for their peers in class on Friday dressed in traditional jaliscos. The students danced with smiles, poise and confidence to two of their favorite songs, “El Son de la Negra” and “Jarabe Tapatio.”
“Personally, teaching Folklorico helps me and the students embrace our culture, and it also allows it to be seen by our campus and community,” Duran said. “We are so grateful to have Folklorico implemented into our students’ curriculum.”
Senior Andrea Cepeda has enjoyed watching the Folklorico dance group, which started last year, grow over the last two years, along with the community the group has built in the process.
“When we first started, we only had three girls,” Cepeda said. “Now we have twelve, so it’s really exciting. I love dancing. I have danced since I was eight years old, so I like that I can explore the different parts of Mexico and learn more about the heritage and tradition. It helps you use the knowledge in the dance.”
Senior Ashley Hernandez enjoys dancing in the group because it has helped her come out of her shell, and it’s special because her family comes to watch the performances.
“I’m so happy to dance with my team because I get to meet a lot of new people and it made me speak up more because I’m an introvert,” Hernandez said. “My family is so proud that I dance, and I love that they come to the performances. My favorite to perform for them is “Jarabe Tapatio” because we do a lot of turns and it’s a lot of fun.”
You can see the Ballet Folklorico team perform live on October 13 from 6-8 p.m. at Sam Houston High School’s Taste of Latin America program. The Folklorico team will be joined by the Mariachi Tejano team for a special performance.