Mexican folkloric dance groups are very popular in Hispanic communities and with the general population. Perhaps it's the costumes that reflect the traditional culture of Mexico, with brightly colored skirts decorated with ribbons, the result of a mixture of ancient and indigenous peoples – like the Aztecs – and European cultures.
But even in Yuma County, with its large Hispanic community, it's not easy to find a folkloric dance group. So the Mexican Consulate in Yuma hopes to encourage the formation of a local folkloric dance group in 2013.
“Other organizations ask us if we know of folkloric dance groups. We see the need,” said Manuel Cuen, community program coordinator for the consulate.
The idea is to gather people, such as dance directors, who are interested in forming a folkloric group that could represent the community.
However, the consulate itself will not be responsible for the group.
“They would not necessarily depend on the consulate for funding,” he said. “If a folkloric dance director wants to present us with a project, we will look for all the support they need and help get sponsors.”
“The idea is for us to help push forward the project,” he added.
Cuen noted that such groups are especially in demand at local events during Mexican holidays.
“The Mexican community is significant here,” Cuen said. “It's part of Mexican culture and therefore part of our commitment.”
But he noted that such dances are not only popular with the Hispanic community but with the community in general.
Mexico is “very rich in folk dances,” Cuen said. “Much of the attraction is that each region has a different kind of dance. Here we know the dances of (the Mexican states of) Jalisco, Guerrero and northern Sonora, the ‘Bronco', as we know it, and Nuevo Leon.”
Those interested in forming a folkloric group are invited to contact Cuen at (928) 343-0066.