Overview of Traditional Mexican Dances
Due to the Mexico’s diversity there are numerous traditional Mexican dances across the country.
Mexico has 31 states that have their own traditions and customs which means that the variety of dances in Mexico is almost indefinite.
In Mexico there is a dance for everything. There are dances for weddings, for funerals, for national celebrations, for death, for birth, for rain, for agriculture, for people in love, for people that dance around love; there are also “animal dances and many, many other.
In other wards Mexicans dance when they are happy and celebrating, when they are sad and mourning, when they are hopeful and in love or broken hearted. No matter what is happening, there is always music and dance to express ones feelings.
Mexican Hat Dance
Mexican Hat Dance (probably the most famous traditional Mexican dance) is pronounced as the national dance of Mexico in 1924 by the Mexican Secretary of education. This dance that tells the story of love and courtship can be performed either by a couple or a group of couples.
Mexican hat dance steps are not difficult to learn but you would need little patience. What could help you learn these steps faster is to listen to the Mexican hat dance music even when you are not practicing the steps.
Mexican Agricultural Dance
The Tlacolorerosis dance is the Mexican agricultural dance that is performed in the Mexican state Guerrero. This dance has it origin in the Aztec’s religious beliefs and its purpose is to prepare the land for cultivation.
Dancers wear large masks that represent animals and are directed by a captain while dancing to the violin music. Dancers are marking the rhythm with their whips and imitating the crackling of the fire as it burns the tree. In fact the entire dance represents the burning of the bushes and the cleaning of the corn-patch.
Dance of the Deer
The deer dance is another traditional Mexican dance that is ritualistic. The dance illustrates a deer hunt and it is performed by the group of dancers who play the roles of the hunters and deer itself.
Performers that play the role of the hunters wear wooden masks and bells and the ones that play a role of a deer have an elaborate headdress and minimal costuming otherwise.
Those dancers that play a deer must jump, walk and move like a deer and finally pretend to die like one. This dance has great symbolic meaning because in the area where this dance originated from the main source of food was deer.
Deer dance is not the only Mexican dance that mimics an animal. In fact there are many other dances alike and one of them is the Iguana dance which is the dance that glorifies the strength and the graceful movements of the iguana.
Mexican Baile Folkorico
Baile folkorico (folkloric dance) is a dance with ballet characteristics such as exaggerated movements and pointed toes. However Mexican folkloric dances are very different from traditional ballet that can be seen in the western theaters.
In the Northern Mexico costumes are very colorful. However the colors of the costumes differ from region to region depending on their significance for that particular Mexican state or an area inside of a certain state.
There are numerous types of traditional Mexican dances which differ from region to region. The reason for this is that these types of dances are all about local folk culture and traditions.
As you know Mexico is very diverse country and different parts of Mexico were under the different cultural influences such as Spanish, French or Central Europe.
For example the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon with its great influence of Central Europe (Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, etc) is known for its polka which is a lively Central European dance that originated in the Czech Republic in the middle of the 19th century.
Interesting thing about the influence of the Central European culture on Mexican culture is the fact that Mexican Banda music (type of traditional Mexican music) is a derivative of European polka music. However even though Mexican Banda music has its roots in European culture it is very Mexican and unique.
In conclusion Traditional Mexican dances are a rich and important part of traditional Mexican culture and they represent a true treasure of Mexican people.