The emotional power of ballet

The Ballet Folklórico dancers smile at their audience while raising their dresses and hats in the air.

Sharing their traditions of dancing and music to the public after two years away, México en el Corazón’s Ballet Folklórico Guadalajara and Mariachi Femenil Estrella de Mexico returned to Weber State University on June 8.

Ballet Folklórico is known to most as a traditional Mexican dance with its own music and traditions that bring many different people of Mexico together.

This year’s performance was not only an assembly of colors, dancing and music but an inspiration for the crowd who watched the show take place before them.

“I danced Ballet Folklórico since I was six years old,” 17-year-old Jennifer Duenaz said. “After I saw those movements on stage and recognized the songs I have danced to, it
motivated me to become better at dancing.”

While Ballet Folklórico may be an inspiration for some, it can also be a way for immigrants to feel closer to the family, friends and homes they left behind to come to the U.S.

Isela Covarrubias is one of the dancers who performed at the event taking place at Weber State. This is her first dance tour in America, according to Covarrubias.

“México en el Corazón provides the opportunity to bring a little piece of Mexico back to the immigrants who are here with us, a lot of the immigrants immigrated from Mexico to the United States,” Covarrubias said. “These people haven’t been able to go back to their home country for years. That’s why we try to get closer to them. That’s what México en el Corazón provides.”

Jennifer Duenaz’s mother was one of these transplants who felt closer to Mexico through the Ballet Folklórico music, dancing and even a mariachi band that left the stage during the Ballet Folklórico event to play in the audience.

“We always had that tradition of dancing and singing and being able to play any kind of instrument,” Graciela Duenaz said. “For generations, we’ve always had music and the love for it in our blood.”

Being a Ballet Folklórico dancer can be an emotional fulfillment. Audience members can occasionally be sentimental due to the dancing and music because it reminds them of home.

Sometimes it’s hard to deal with all of the emotions, but it’s all worth it to be able to bring a piece of Mexico to America, according to Covarrubias.

“I’m so very thankful for the opportunity that was given to me to be able to do this,” Covarrubias said. “For the people to see us and then run to us and embrace us, as if they’ve known us their whole lives is really emotional. It doesn’t matter where you are from because it’s like we are all family.”