I'm not Mexican. Probably obviously. And full disclosure, I did not know what Diez Y Seis was until Spanish class in high school (I mean, isn't Cinco de Mayo Mexican Independence Day? No? Then... why do we celebrate it...?). It wasn't until I went to St. Ed's that I really understood the holiday fully. You see, Diez Y Seis in 2007 changed my life.
At St. Ed's, because of our very high Mexican-American and Mexican National population, the Mexican holidays are a big deal. There is usually some celebration on campus, and St. Edward's Ballet Folklórico is often part of it. That day in 2007, I happened upon SEU BF dancing and I fell in love with folklórico then and there. I went to the interest meeting, and then started coming to practice. I struggled through the first semester and wasn't sure I wanted to stay at St. Ed's, but folklórico was the thing that made me stay, and it has made all the difference.
Fast forward four years later and three other Diez Y Seis celebrations (all of which I was part of though in 2008 as a photographer due to a sprained ankle), I now live in Los Angeles and work for an after-school program. I wanted to share my love for folklórico with my kids. I hope sometime this year to actually teach a dance, but this time due to lack of space, I had to settle for compiling a video of my different clips of my group dancing interspersed with photos. I wore my practice skirt and folklórico shoes for the program that day. Our crafts were to make maracas and papel picado.
It was a hit. At all times I had 1-4 little girls hanging off my skirt and dancing with it. There was uncooked rice all over the floor from the maracas and pieces of tissue paper from the papel picado. I played the video a few times with mariachi music in the background and every time the kids saw me on the screen, there were excited shouts of "There's Ms. B!"
Friday was my favorite day in Urban Compass so far :) We had such a wonderful time, and I'm so glad I got to share with the kids about Mexican Independence Day and my love for folklórico.