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Community Focus: Folkloric dances teach art and language in Oklahoma City metro

(KOKH)

Sharing culture through dance. A small group of dance companies and studios in the metro are teaching language and history through Mexican folkloric dance. From the large and vibrant colorful skirts to heavy hair pieces and dancing with a cup on your head-- this dancing style is not for the faint of heart.

Kateri Barrios, dancer

“I love doing this because this is from my culture. My parents are both from Mexico and I love being around other people dancing,” says Kateri Barrios, a young dancer during a practice session at Everything Goes Dance Studio.

There are intricate movements that require equal parts high energy and concentration.

“I like doing this dance because I can release emotions, and I like how I get to release a lot of energy,” says Isabella Mendoza as she recovers from a practice performance.

This type of dance is not just about history but the joy it brings to people in the present day.

“I love dancing it. Being able to learn about the states, and where they come from, and what dances and dresses go with each state,” says Daniela Torres with a proud smile on her face.

All these young Everything Goes Dance Studio dancers keep a Mexican tradition alive with their art.

“It brings that extra element to our other genres of dance. And our students who are Hispanic here, learning about their culture, and who they are, really brings out the best in them and makes them proud of who they are and where they come from,” says Adelita Hernandez, folkloric artistic director, everything goes dance studio.

These dances are not just for the Hispanic students. Dance instructors Adelita Hernandez and Erika Reyes say parents bring their kids to learn dance, history of Mexican states, and some elements of the Spanish language.

“Our students are willing to know the history and the culture behind each state and what it represents and what it means to audiences who are going to watch it, and they take that to heart,” says Erika Reyes, Everything Goes Dance Studio owner and artistic director.

Everything Goes Dance Studio is one of the only dance studios in the city teaching varied cultural dances to youth and adults. In addition to Mexican folkloric dance, the group also teaches the Spanish flamenco, Hip-Hop and traditional Ballet. There are also a handful of private folkloric dance companies in the metro sharing their art at community events.

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