Ballet Folklorico takes SEU community on a trip around parts of Mexico


Christine Sanchez / Hilltop Views

Performers dance in the style of Jalisco. The SEU Ballet Folklorico performs both locally and out-of-state and recently received first place in a San Antonio competition.

The St. Edward’s Ballet Folklorico group took the community on a tour of Mexico during their 12th Annual Noche Folklorica on Nov. 13.

Each fall semester, SEU Ballet Folklorico hosts an event to showcase the dances of Mexico that performers learn over the course of a few months. The group consists of both enrolled students and alumni of all skill levels.

The event was highlighted by different dances including Concheros, Yucatan, Nayarit, Veracruz and Jalisco.


The group opened the night with a folk dance called “Concheros,” which originated in 1522 after the conquest of the Chichimec tribe, who danced to appeal to the Mayan and Aztec gods.

The dancers marched onstage to a fast-paced drum that echoed around the room. Their marches were audible from the conchas, or shells, around their feet. They wore blue velvet, golden armor and tall, feathered headpieces.


Folklorico in Yucatan is characterized by the women’s white blouses adorned with embroidered flowers. Men sported white guayabera shirts.

Dancers swayed at the front stage, happily looking into the crowd.

The acoustic music accompanying the dancers highlighted their subtle movements and strong footwork.


This portion of the event featured women in long, fuschia dresses with colorful ruffles and men in blue shirts wielding machetes.

The women danced in unison, making waves with their long skirts which they lifted up at the sides to portray a butterfly-like appearance, while men showcased skillfully handling the machetes.

SEU alumni Oscar Paz performed during Nayarit and said that it was “very adrenaline-filled.”

Paz started dancing folklorico as a college freshman and learned to handle the machetes that same year. There were several steps he took before fully mastering them.

“First, you have to get over the fear of the machetes, then you have to get used to the weight of it and how it handles in your hands,” Paz said. “One of the first things I learned was to flip and catch it, but I think now it’s a lot more natural.”

Paz, now in his seventh year of dancing, says “it’s still as exciting as it was the first year.”


African and Caribbean influences embody folklorico in Veracruz, a Mexican port city on the Gulf.

Women bore white lace dresses and balanced lit candles on their heads. According to folk stories, this is meant to ward off evil spirits as the women walk through the village at night.


Jalisco, the last performance included women dancing in long yellow dresses with colorful ruffles and men in sombreros.

Performer Odalys Marquez was proud to show students the traditional dance.

“Being Mexican-American, I’m really honored that we got to show the students our culture and what ballet folklorico is,” Marquez said.

Political Science major Jasmine Farhady’s favorite part of the event was when the dancers balanced lit candles on their heads.

“I thought it was really interesting. I’ve never been to one of these events before so it was a completely new experience.”