Ok, so Boo and Pumpkin Girl are both taking ballet folklorico lessons. I’m sure you’ve seen Mexican folk dancing before, at least on TV. I grew up enjoying various folklorico companies perform at the fiesta in Santa Barbara. I was even a flower girl. But somehow, it never occurred to me or my parents to have me take folklorico lessons.
So all these years later, I have children who are at the right age to start lessons AND we live in a city large enough to actually have folklorico companies. Late last summer I sent out a couple of emails, asking about lessons for Pumpkin Girl. Neither company responded to me, so she started ballet classes instead, which is what she really wanted.
Then out of the blue, last August, I got an email informing me of the upcoming annual auditions for one of the company. Pumpkin Girl was excited to go, especially when I reminded her of the big beautiful dresses that the girls wear. The email encouraged boys to come along, too. Just for fun, I asked Boo if he wanted to go to the audition. Surprisingly, he said yes! He was hoping to learn the dance with the machetes.
Off to the auditions we went. It was less an audition than it was a “try it” class, and both children had a great time. One of the moms there sold me some new folklorico shoes for Pumpkin. If you’ve seen any folklorico performances, you’ll notice that they seem to do a lot of stomping. Part of that is the wooden stage they perform on, part of if is that that toes and heels of the shoes are embedded with a ton of nail heads.
Boo’s shoes took a little longer to get. First of all, we can’t buy them locally. Second, he’s got a very small foot and most of the places would have had to special order his size. Poor Boo was feeling very self-conscious not having the right shoes and not being able to make any noise while dancing in his tennis shoes. He would come home complaining of sore feet because he’d been stomping. But the correct boots have been obtained and in his words, he’s “gone from not making any noise at all to being the loudest!”
I searched around the internet looking for folklorico videos to share with the children. They particularly liked this one, which you will know as the Mexican hat dance.