Miriam Gómez's Folklorico Interview
Amphitheater High School
May 19, 2004
Interviewers: Dalia Borja, Francisco Sánchez, and Brenda Ruiz
- Where did you grow up?
I was born and grew up here in Tucson.
- How old were you when you started learning to dance folklorico?
I began attending practices at age five and began dancing more seriously in a dance group at about seven.
- What interested you in folklorico dancing?
I have enjoyed dancing since I was small. Ballet was too regimented for me. I like to move around a lot. Folklorico lets me dance to fast music.
- Tell us about the dance. Do you have a favorite song to dance to? Why is it your favorite?
Folklorico dance has distinct styles for the different regions. I like a lot of the dances from northern Mexico because when you dance, you move your entire body. I like the dances from southern Mexico , especially the eastern coast like near Vera Cruz, because of the way the steps sound when danced in time to the music.
- Do you sing? Do you have a favorite song? Why is it your favorite?
I don't really sing and nor do have a favorite song; I like them all…although, I do like the song “Flores Negras” a lot.
- Are other members of your family involved as dancers?
Yes, I have a little sister who I dance with; we're in the same dance group. I really like performing together with her.
- Who are the dancers you admire, or have influenced your love of folklorico?
My mom influenced me. When she was younger she studied ballet and modern dance. She always helped be have good posture and made sure I didn't move awkward while dancing.
- What do you like best about performing?
I like to look at the audience and see that they are smiling and happy. I love the feeling that I have the power to create an emotion in another human being, especially if that emotion is a happy one.
- Tell us about any performances that you've done.
I have done so many performances that they blend together in my mind. One time that sticks out in my mind is when I was about ten years old. I was dancing “El Jarabe Tapatio” and at one point I was supposed to bend down so my partner could kick over me. I remembered to bend down but I got up too fast and got kicked in the head.
- What relationship do you see between folklorico dancing and Hispanic culture?
There is a really strong connection because all types of dance carry a culture's history and reflects its beliefs. The Latin culture is a very Dionysian in that one's emotions are encouraged to burst forth representing one's feelings of the moment. This translates into very lively and expressive folk dancing from Latin countries such as Mexico . Also, the movements of the dance, the costumes worn and the music danced to differs from each region making each dance a unique collection of the history and experiences of the people from a given area in Mexico.
- Our project is called Del Corazón, “from the heart." What does Folklorico mean to you? Is the dancing about community? Language? History? Good times? Family? etc.
To me it means fun, friends, acquaintances -- it's about community and sharing with others. You learn not only about your own culture and history, but you also gain more respect for those of different peoples and are better able to enjoy folk art from all over the world.
- What advice would you give to me about performing folklorico
Enjoy yourself. Let yourself get into it. Enjoy the moment; don't be too hard on yourself.
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