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Filed under Club Corner, Features

Ballet Folklorico needs you to keep culture alive

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Stories cannot be shared without storytellers.

For Ballet Folklorico, which shares the story of Mexican culture through dance, this issue will affect Morse’s M.E.CH.A club significantly.

Morse’s Ballet Folklorico group needs at least eight members to learn and perform the Ballet Folklorico dance for the school year in order to keep the tradition and culture alive and active.

Practice days are on Mondays and Thursdays from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in room 303. Ivana Porras, junior and Ballet Folklorico instructor, plans to spread awareness by posting details on social media and putting up posters around the school.

“Anyone is welcome to the group,” said Porras. “I welcome anyone who just loves to dance.”

Lourdes Sanchez, math teacher and M.E.CH.A advisor, assigned Porras to teach Ballet Folklorico for the school year since she has been dancing for about seven years. She has also been teaching the dance to kids on weekends.

“My mom told me that she used to dance when she was little, so I wanted to try it,” mentioned Porras.

Before Porras started teaching, former Morse students taught others in order to gain money for college.

Ballet Folklorico goes back to the 1950s when Amalia Hernández invented it to present the diversity of Mexican and Mesoamerican cultures, as well as pre-Columbian traditions through dance that involved percussive heel stomping. An ensemble would consist of two to over 35 dancers.

When Sanchez started working at Morse in 1999, she joined M.E.CH.A as an advisor after being invited by members and the club advisor. She believed that it promoted higher education and a praise of cultures by going deep into their roots.

“You’re finding who you are,” assessed Sanchez. “One of the things that are very important is to look at your ancestors, your roots, and your background so you can understand yourself and your own family.”

She also noted how students go through an identity crisis frequently in their lives and that Ballet Folklorico gives people of Mexican descent an opportunity to find themselves and conduct good character.

Students from Fulton K-8 were also taught how to dance Ballet Folklorico through M.E.CH.A’s partnership with MESA.

“It was really beautiful to see the cultures coming together and sharing something that they valued so much,” described Sanchez.

The community became their own storytellers and shared their tales to others with pride and dance.

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