Mexican culture celebrated at Threshold Academy

By Daily News • Last Updated 2:33 pm on Thursday, November 24, 2011

Courtesy photos The traditions of El Norte include cowboy culture.

ORLEANS — With a booming “Buenos tardes” from leader Tony Velasco, the pupils of Threshold Academy traveled to Mexico in the comfort of the school gym.
Pupils from Ionia Middle School and Jefferson Elementary School, who are part of the Mexican Folkloric Dance and cultural group Divino Nino (Divine Child), performed an assembly filled with dance, music, colorful costumes and anecdotes about the culture of Mexico.
The pupils began with El Jarabe Tapatio, a dance from the state of Jalisco, Mexico. The dancers wore skirts covered in rows of ribbons and lace. The skirts are used as part of the dance and can stretch above each dancers head and are spun and twirled to help tell the story of the dance.
This dance tells a story of love and courtship and is a popular folk dance. The music for the dance is a traditional mariachi-style.
“We have many Hispanic pupils in our school and it is wonderful for those pupils and their friends to learn about the Mexican culture,” said Principal Victoria Simon.
The dancers also performed dances from Aguas Calientes region and El Norte, which helped the pupils learn how the culture can be different from state to state within the country of Mexico. The costumes from the hot, dry, dusty northern region of Mexico, for example, have shorter skirts than those from Jalisco.
Fourth-grader Jade Rodriguez used to live in Mexico and said he enjoyed the performance.
“I liked the dresses that I haven’t seen in a long time,” he said.
Rodriguez said his class in school in Mexico learned some traditional dances.
The third-grade class has been learning about the importance of keeping traditions in a family and read the story “Anthony Reynoso – Born to Rope,” which is about Mexican vaquero (cowboy) culture.
Third-grade student Dillon Closser said it is important to keep traditions and he liked the dances and the music.
The dancers concluded with a humorous traditional dance called Los Viejos, which means the senior citizens. The music was a mixture of traditional Mexican music and contemporary music, including the Macarena and “I Like to Move It, Move It.”
Fourth-grader Hannah Hunter said that was her favorite part.
“I liked the mixed-up music,” she said.
Threshold pupils jumped up and joined in the dancing when the contemporary music came on, then sat back down when the traditional music came back and the dancers turned into “little old men” once again and Threshold pupils returned to Orleans.

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