The Ballet Folklórico will dance at a football game – The Daily Evergreen
The WSU Club helps students learn about Mexican culture; the team is concerned about the lack of practice space on campus
A WSU dance group helps Mexican students connect to their heritage through traditional dance and teaches other students about Mexican culture.
“It’s a way to get your body moving,” said Michelle Cordova, head of the Ballet Folklórico club. “I wanted to do it to offer that to students and bring them closer to their roots, or if they’re not Mexican, so they can learn more about Mexican culture in general.”
Cordova was born in the United States but moved to Mexico when she was 2 years old. She returned at age 13 but was homesick. He missed the culture and the atmosphere. Learning Folklórico helped her connect and feel closer to her culture by learning the specific stages of Folklórico. Even the songs have their own story, she says.
When she started attending WSU, she discovered that she wasn’t the only person who loved traditional dancing.
“In my freshman year, there was a multicultural talent show, and I performed there,” Cordova said. “A lot of people came up to me and said, ‘I’ve always wanted to learn how to dance that.’ In a way, it inspired me to create my own [organization].”
The team currently has eight members, but is excited about the 44 potential members who signed up at a drop-in event.
“One of my goals is just to give more exposure, so people know about it,” Cordova said. “I think it’s a great club that people are interested in, but just because of COVID we haven’t had a chance to go.”
The club accepts everyone, regardless of ethnic identity or level of experience.
Member Suzena Arias joined the club in her first year. She said she thought it would be a good first club to get involved with.
“One of the reasons I decided to do this is because my mother was a Folklórico dancer,” Arias said. “They would at his school in Mexico. I thought it would be nice to do this so we could talk and connect.
The club held Zoom workouts, Arias said. Her mother came into the kitchen and watched her dance. After her practices, her mother would demonstrate the dances she was doing. Arias was amazed that her mother still remembered the steps.
The Ballet Folklórico team was invited to perform at halftime of the September 9 soccer game. They will perform two or three songs.
“There is no current stage.” Cordoba said. “They’ll try to get it in place before the performance, which might take a few more minutes, we might have to take a song. We may have to do just two.
Cordova has mixed feelings about the upcoming performance.
“I’m very excited, that’s the first thing, but I’m also very anxious because we don’t have anywhere to train,” Cordova said. “I wonder if we are going to be able to train enough to be where I want us to be. I feel like this is a very good opportunity for the club, and it will be our very first performance. I’m excited but, again, frustrated.
Cordova wants to raise awareness that the team doesn’t have many places to train. Several rules in place prevent the team from booking space on campus because the bottom of their dancing shoes have studs, similar to tap shoes.
The team practiced in the parking lot in front of Cordova’s house and on the nearby basketball courts. She feels frustrated that WSU cannot accommodate various cultural dances as they tend to scrape the floor.
“It’s important for us to practice with our shoes because they make the tapping sound, and most of the time you have to wear the shoes to know what tapping sound to make,” Arias said. “It’s part of the dance, and it goes with the music.”
If you like what the club stands for, they accept donations. Unfortunately, they don’t have enough performance apparel for everyone who joins the club.
They are also open to performance opportunities.
To contact the club, you can find them on Instagram as @balletfwsu or on Facebook as WSU Ballet Folklórico.