The WSU club helps students discover Mexican culture; the team is concerned about the lack of training space on campus
A WSU dance group helps Mexican students connect to their heritage through traditional dance and teach fellow students about Mexican culture.
“It’s a way to get your body moving,” said Michelle Cordova, manager of the Ballet Folklórico club. “I wanted to do it to provide that to the students and bring them closer to their roots, or if they’re not Mexican, so they can learn more about Mexican culture in general.”
Cordova was born in the United States but moved to Mexico when she was 2 years old. She returned at 13 but was homesick. He missed the culture and the atmosphere. Learning Folklórico helped her connect and feel closer to her culture by learning the specific stages of Folklórico. Even songs have their own story, she says.
When she first started dating WSU, she discovered that she wasn’t the only person who enjoyed traditional dance.
“In my freshman year, there was a multicultural talent show, and I performed there,” Cordova said. “A lot of people came to me and they said to themselves, ‘I’ve always wanted to learn to dance this. “In a way, it inspired me to create my own [organization]. “
The team currently has eight members, but is excited about the 44 potential members who signed up at a drop-off event.
“One of my goals is just to give it more visibility, so people know it,” Cordova said. “I think it’s a big club that people are interested in, but just because of COVID we haven’t had a chance to go out.”
The club accepts anyone, regardless of their ethnic identity or level of experience.
Member Suzena Arias joined the club in her first year. She said she thought it would be a good first club to get involved in.
“One of the reasons I decided to do this is because my mom was a folk dancer,” Arias said. “They would do it at his school in Mexico. Thought it would be nice to do that so that we could talk and connect.
The club have been running workouts on Zoom, Arias said. Her mother would come into the kitchen and watch her dance. After her workouts, her mother would demonstrate the dances she used to do. Arias was amazed that her mother still remembered the steps.
The Ballet Folklórico team have been invited to perform at the half-time of the football match on September 9. She will perform two or three songs.
“There is no current stage.” Cordoba said. “They’re going to try to put it in place before the performance, which might take a few more minutes and we might have to take a song.” We may need to do just two.
Cordova has mixed feelings about the upcoming performance.
“I’m very excited, that’s the first thing, but I’m also very anxious because we have nowhere to train,” Cordova said. “I wonder if we’re going to be able to train enough to be where I want us to be. I think this is a very good opportunity for the club, and it will be our very first performance. I am excited but, again, frustrated.
Cordova wants to raise awareness that the team doesn’t have a lot of places to practice. Several rules in place prevent the team from reserving space on campus because the bottom of their dance shoes have spikes, similar to tap dancing.
The team trained in the parking lot in front of Cordova’s house and on the basketball courts nearby. She feels frustrated that WSU cannot accommodate various cultural dances as they tend to scratch the floor.
“It’s important for us to train with our shoes because they make the tapping sound, and most of the time you have to have the shoes on to know what tapping sound to make,” Arias said. “It’s part of the dance and it goes with the music.”
If you like what the club stands for, they accept donations. Unfortunately, they don’t have enough performance outfits for everyone who signs up for the club.
They are also open to performance opportunities.