It is not possible to appreciate the splendor of Mexico and it’s history without considering their customs and how it intertwines with dance. Mexico has a rich and colorful history. Many of the dances we enjoy represent their culture and events in the history of this beautiful country.
Mexican music is distinct as are the costumes they wear. These things are unmistakenly Mexican. But, much of the influence that formed these dances are European and African. The blending of these cultural influence has molded the Mexican dances of today. If you trace these dance back through history you will find these dances were used to worship the Mayan and Aztec Gods. In many ways, the history of Mexico can be taught through the messages in their dance.
I this post, we will share a few of these dances. We encourage you to explore the Mexican experience for yourself. Only when you combine the music, rhythm, and the colors of the costumes will you truly see the spirit of Mexico through dance.
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This prehistoric dance dates back to the 16th century before the Spanish Conquest. The dancers adorn themselves in bright and beautiful costumes rich with color. The costumes and headpieces are decorated with long and vibrant feathers.
Jarabe Tapatio (aka The Mexican Hat Dance)
The Jarabe Tapatio has carried the nickname, “The Mexican Hat Dance” for years. It is probably the most well-known dance in the country. In 1924 The Mexican Hat Dance was declared, The National Dance of Mexico.
This dance shows a lot of Western influence. The dance is often done during festivals. The men wear black that is embellished with sequins and material with a sombrero. The women wear flowing dresses of color. As they dance, the women hold their skirts by the pleats and twist and twirl their skirts while they dance.
The Danza is a dance created as a ritual dance to honor the Mexican religion. Danza style dance is a Native Ritual Style used to bring a community closer. While you may not see this in some festivals, this dance is often performed throughout the country.
The Matachines is known as “The Sword Dance.” It is a dance that represents the battle between Christians and Moors in Spain. Participants wear elaborate and colorful costumes. The headdresses are beautiful displays of colorful feathers.
The dances above are traditional and festive dances of Mexico. Often they will wear wooden shoes or shoes with taps to allow the clicking beat to enhance the moves. In more recent times, Mexico has incorporated ballet and tap into their society. Each of the dances mentions here and many that are not listed tell a story. They are celebrations of a people rich in culture, strong, and dedicated to their home. If you want to really know Mexican heritage, you may begin your journey with dance.