Ballet Folklórico is one of the many ways to express Mexican culture. Ballet Folklórico is a dance that represents all of the regions in Mexico; therefore, it has many different types of dances, clothing, and music within the category.
These dances were practiced and performed as early as the 17th century and started to become more popular in the 18th century, after the War of Independence.
The most popular and widely known type of Folklorico is the Folklorico dances of Jalisco. A traditional Folklorico Jalisco dress is made of a fabric called poplin. The colors of the dresses are strong such as red, Mexican pink, and yellow. The shirt part of the dress has sleeves that go up to the elbow. Both the skirt and the dress are decorated with ribbons that match the dress.
The men wear a typical charro suit which is made up of long tight pants with decorations on the sides. Along with the pants there is a matching jacket and silk tie. They also wear a wide-brimmed hat, or sombrero, with the outfit.
All Folklorico dances consist of a lot of movement of the whole body. There is a lot of footwork, legwork, use of the torso, and armwork. In many dances the ladies use their skirts with coordination and elegance to produce beautiful waves of color emanating from their dresses.
Others, such as the style of Gerruero, use other forms to get the people’s attention besides using their skirts. Guerrero dances consist of both males and females using a pañuelo (handkerchief) while they dance, moving it in an infinity symbol like motion.
In many other dances such as those from Nayarit and Colima, the men use machetes while they dance, producing a loud noise and a great reaction from their audiences.
There are many groups all around the world that teach the wonders of Ballet Folklorico that usually focus on all the different types of dances from all the regions in Mexico. Joining a group allows one to connect with their Mexican culture or learn of Mexican culture, and this makes learning Ballet Folklorico all the more fun.