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The Typical Dances in Mexico: History and Traditions

Destinations 26/07/2023
In Mexico, our cultural diversity is reflected in a variety of traditions, languages, and typical and folkloric dances that represent each state of the Mexican Republic. These dances were born with the purpose of representing the Mexican identity and we find them present in civic events, national festivities such as September 15 and November 20, as well as patron saint festivities.

The variety of rhythms in this country is impressive, with fast dances and slower ones, but all of them with a rich history that adds to the Mexican culture.

In this article, we will introduce you to some of the most important typical dances in Mexico, many of which have been influenced by other cultures and are currently practiced in various academies for teaching and dissemination.

The Huapango

Originally from the Huasteca region, the Huapango is one of the most exciting folk dances in Mexico. It arose during the colonial period with the arrival of gypsy and flamenco influences in the region. The dance is characterized by its rapid stomping to the rhythm of jaranas, violins and harps.

Dance of the Fish

As a tribute to the fishermen and their work on the coasts of Michoacán and Guerrero, the famous Dance of the Fish arises. This dance dates back to pre-Hispanic times, where it was performed as a ritual to request good catches. The dancers carry a large fish on their shoulders and wear traditional clothing from the coast, along with masks that represent the scars of their trade.

Mexican Dance

Also known as the Aztec dance, this is an ancient dance that has managed to take root, thanks to the fact that it was kept secret during colonization. It was practiced as part of the rituals and religious ceremonies of the Mesoamerican indigenous civilizations. The dancers jump to the rhythm of drums and shells, while a sacred offering is made at the end of the dance.

Jarabe Tapatio

The Jarabe Tapatío is one of the best-known typical dances in Mexico. It has its roots in the gypsy “jarabe” of Spain, but Mexicans have adopted its rhythm, stomping, and movements from other local dances. This dance has gone from being prohibited in the past to representing an act of courtship in the present. The men wear charro suits, while the women don colorful, full-skirted dresses.

Dance of the Elderly

This peculiar dance was part of a sacred ritual of the Purépecha empire in Michoacán. Celebrated four times a year to invoke harvest prosperity, the dance is performed with slow, smooth movements. The dancers carry canes and form a line, increasing the rhythm of their steps as the music progresses. One of them falls to the ground several times while the others help him up and continue.

Dance of the Elderly

The Northern Polka

It is a traditional dance that originated in Europe, specifically among the Germans who immigrated to the north of Mexico and the south of the United States, in Texas, during the 19th century. These immigrants brought with them musical instruments such as the accordion, saxophone and bajo sexto, as well as the rhythm of the European polka, which was danced in elegant parlors in pairs. However, the indigenous people of the region adopted this dance and gave it a unique Mexican style, turning it into the well-known "Polka Mexicana". This musical genre took root in the northern states of Mexico, such as Chihuahua, Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, Sonora, Coahuila and Baja California, as well as in other border states and the North Zone of the country. Discover more about the energetic and popular Polka Norteña in our guide.

La Bamba, Veracruz

La Bamba is a folk dance originally from the beautiful state of Veracruz, known as Son Jarocho and one of the most representative dances in the Mexican Republic. Instruments such as the harp, the guitar and the marimba give rhythm to this style of dance. However, among the best known dances, the one that symbolizes Veracruz both nationally and internationally is "La Bamba", considered the anthem of Veracruz. This dance, traditionally performed by a single couple, fuses the Spanish Seguidillas and Fandangos dance styles with the Cuban Zapateados and Guajiras. Its origin dates back to the arrival of the Spanish in Veracruz in the 17th century. Discover more about the traditional costume of Veracruz and the rich history of La Bamba in our guide.

Oaxaca Pineapple Flower

Surprisingly, the Flor de Piña dance, although not as well known outside of Mexico, is one of the most representative of the state of Oaxaca. This dance originated in the municipality of San Juan Bautista Tuxtepec thanks to the idea of ​​the governor Alfonso Pérez Gasga in 1958. It was thought that the jarocho costumes were not suitable for the state of Oaxaca, so the teacher Paulina Solís was commissioned to design an indigenous choreography for the song "Flor de Piña", composed by the Oaxacan Don Samuel Mondragón This choreography is performed exclusively by women and represents the indigenous woman Tu xtepeca, symbolizing the joy for the good harvest of the pineapple. Oaxacans can confirm this interpretation! Explore more about the fascinating dance of the Pineapple Flower in our guide.

The typical dances in Mexico are a historical treasure and constitute part of the cultural heritage of this country. Are you going to stay without knowing them? From Park Royal we give you the opportunity to celebrate these Mexican dances with us at the best price. Visit Mexico and have fun stomping
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