Learn all about many of the most traditional and popular dances of Mexico!
Mexico is rich in culture and the countless traditional dances that are performed inside Mexican lands and abroad, all unified forms a part of this intangible richness Mexico possess. The clothes that are used in this series of steps, twirls and turns, usually are filled with multiple live colors, and when in movement the different clothing draws more attention because of the intensity of the steps and colors of the gowns. All these dances have different profound meanings.
Now I am going to mention some of the most representative and popular dances that conform this national treasure.
Born in the state of Jalisco in the 19th century, this is a mix of many typical dances all around Mexico. Therefor it is known as the National Dance of our country. The loud footsteps that the man creates around the woman while dancing are meant to represent flirting, meanwhile she moves her long skirt while doing the loud footsteps too, all her movement very feminine and energetic. This dance is always accompanied with the famous sounds of a Mariachi band.
DANCE OF THE TLACOLOLEROS
Originated in the state of Guerrero, was created to honor “Tlaloc”, the God of the rain. This is an ancient dance that the pre-Hispanic people used to perform at early May, a ritual to secure and have abundance of crops all that year, to make the Earth fertile. It is integrated by 16 people, 2 of which represent animals that are consider a treat to the crops; the animals are persecuted by the rest of the dancers until their capture. All the persecution is done to the sounds of the drum and the flute. Nowadays this dance is executed all year round in festivities and theater performances, it makes us Mexicans very proud.
A very singular dance from the state of Chiapas, in which a lot of intense and multiple colors are involved, and many distinct objects are needed for its right performance, such as wood masks, hats, hand crafted “chales” and belts. When this dance happens all the city of Chiapa de Corzo is alive and the streets get filled with masked danseurs.
There exist various histories that try to explain the origin of this dance, however the most known is the one of a wealthy woman that was desperate looking for a cure for her son whom was immobile. On the way to meet with a medicine man they encounter a group of people who began to dance to bring joy to the child. The sounds that create the ambiance for Los Parachicos are instruments as drums and rattles. She found a cure in this town and was forever grateful.
The word Jarana means fun and uproar created by the people of the town, and this is exactly what this happy dance represents. The Jarana is an original of Yucatan, and before, it was only used to be held during the “vaquerias”, which are festivities related with the branding of the cattle, however nowadays it is related also with the catholic religion and is very common to see it represented in various events.
This dance has become the most characteristic of Yucatan, because it shows all the mixed race cultural baggage: the typical clothes the dances wear; women dress the traditional party “huipil” with floral embroidery, and the men clothing consists on a fresh “guayabera”, white pants and a red handkerchief, that they move around at unison with them steps. The vocal sounds of joy that the dancers shout during the performance, which combined with the popular “¡BOMBAS!”, that are a funny verse said in Spanish to make the public laugh, and the cheerful tune of the musical band, creating an ambiance of bliss.
The Jarana is a couple dance and one of the characteristics that make it unique, it’s the ability that the dancers have to move at the rhythm of the sounds and melody’s while holding distinct objects on the top of their heads without dropping them. This objects goes from full trays, to glass bottles filled with liquid. Sometimes the dance is performed on top of a wooden box.
DANCE OF THE DEER
This dance it’s from the south of the state of Sonora and from the north of the state of Sinaloa, and is one of the most impressive of the Mexican Republic. It’s a ritual, which has its origins since the pre-Hispanic times in honor of the hunting of the deer. The instruments that are used in this dance are very simple, and from them you can recognize sounds from nature and energy of the Earth. This sounds are join by human’s chants in “Yaqui” language. The hunt of the deer it’s embody on scene, all the dancers manage their body in such an elegant and agile way, simulating the movements of this animal, kind of fragile and with an alert and shy personality; the dancers also characterize the hunters that chase the deer.
DANCE OF THE FEATHER
This involves the recreation of episodes that were lived during the Spanish conquest. It was born in the state of Oaxaca and it is considered a beautiful and emotive dance. The gowns that the dancers dress attract a lot of attention, because they have lots of intense colors, also they port many ornaments and feathers, which symbolizes the imposition of the catholic religion to the indigenous people.
If you would like to get to know some of the states were this dances were born, you can click here