Dating back to the Ancient Aztec ceremonies, dances

have been a very traditional and vibrant part of the

Mexican culture.  A fiesta, wedding, farewell or

carnival would not be complete without the

traditional dances of Old Mexico.

Every dance represents a region of Mexico and is enhanced

by the traditional costume of that region.  The most

popular dances are accompanied by the Mariachi band

(a group of musicians dressed in “charro” outfits,

playing guitars, trumpets, guitarrones, violins and


                                                    The Mariachi band plays music

                                                    from the state of Jalisco, where

                                                    the Mariachi and tequila

                                                    originated.  Some of these dances are “El Jarabe Tapatio”

                                                   (the original “Mexican Hat Dance”), “La Negra”,  “La

                                                    Culebra” and “Guadalajara”.  Other popular dances, which

                                                     come from the state of Durango, are accompanied by a

                                                    Mariachi band and have a revolutionary flavor (“Jesusita en Chihuahua” is a good example of the revolutionary music.)

                                 Polkas are a favorite dance from the northern

                                        regions of Mexico, especially Monterrey.  The

                                        traditional garb for this regional dance consists

                                        of leather skirts for the women and leather

                                       vests and Texas-style hats for the men. 

                                        Music is provided by a band of guitars,

                                        accordions, violins and harps.  Some of the

more famous polkas are “El Cerro de la Silla,” “Monterrey,” and “Evangelina”. 

                                                In the south-eastern states of Veracruz

                                                and Oaxaca, one can listen to Marimba

                                                bands playing “jarocho” music such as

                                                “La Bamba” or “La Paloma.”  Women

                                                wear beautiful white lace dresses and

                                                black decorated aprons; while the men

                                                are outfitted in white slacks and white

                                                pleated shirts (“guayaberas”).

All of these dances are representative of the regions of Mexico: the “Sandunga” from  Tehuantepec; the “Jarana” from Yucatan; and the ever-popular, internationally known “Jarabe Tapatio: which is theMexican national folk dance.

Source: Multicultural Awareness

for the Classroom: The Mexicans,1980.


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