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    The Prom-Like Intensity of High School Folklórico

    Our American schools are now latino.....pay for that taxpayers....can we make mexico pay a school tax? US has been overtaken w/o a sword or rifle raised.



    The Prom-Like Intensity of High School Folklórico

    In the Central Valley in California, high school students gathered for Danzantes del Valle: High School Show Offs, an annual event defined by passion and tradition.

    By Patricia Leigh Brown

    March 15, 2018

    FRESNO — Backstage at the Warnor’s Center for the Performing Arts here, Ariana Ferrer, a junior from Monache High School in Porterville, Calif., was engaged in a critical ritual: spritzing hair spray onto nails embedded in the soles of her dance shoes to keep her from slipping during a barrage of rapid-fire footwork.

    It was the last Saturday in February, and Ms. Ferrer and 200 or so other dancers from her school were here for Danzantes del Valle: High School Show Offs, the biggest event of the year for local students passionate about folklórico, the storied dance tradition steeped in the regional cultures of Mexico. In a makeshift dressing room, girls applied lipstick using their reflective cellphones as mirrors. Boys struggled to wedge their feet into pointy boots.


    The Fresno High School team preparing for Danzantes del Valle: High School Show Offs. CreditEmily Berl for The New York TimesSome backstage inspiration.CreditEmily Berl for The New York Times

    Ms. Ferrer, in a ruffled skirt edged with blue ribbons from Chiapas, prepared to go onstage as her teacher, John Gonzales, cinched waist sashes, rearranged hair ornaments and tried not to fret about 15 costumes that had gone missing. “Chin up!,” he always tells his dancers before a performance. “Chest up! Relax your shoulders! Give 110 percent! And don’t forget that safety pins are your best friend!”

    Danzantes del Valle, organized by a coalition of school dance directors and ArteAmericas, a nonprofit Latino arts center, is an annual event with prom-like intensity. This year’s edition featured folklórico troupes from 11 high schools, all from the San Joaquin Valley, a vast agricultural region in the state’s midsection. Here, child poverty rates are high and many workers who spend long days harvesting produce have difficulty putting food on their tables.



    Dancers from Sunnyside High School in Fresno at Danzantes del Valle.CreditEmily Berl for The New York TimesRehearsal. CreditEmily Berl for The New York Times

    For the dedicated young dancers who find a community of kindred spirits in folklórico, the current political climate — with its immigration raids and anti-Mexican rhetoric — has only inspired them to work harder. “There are many people who are hating our culture right now,” Jenny Cruz, a senior at Central High School in Fresno, said. “Dancing makes you feel empowered over the hate.”

    The program in Porterville, a city about 75 miles southeast of Fresno where roughly 80 percent of students are Latino, is emblematic of folklórico’s new burst of energy. Starting with 85 students over a decade ago, it now enrolls more than 450 — with a long waiting list. Mr. Gonzales, who grew up in circumstances similar to his students,’ directs folklórico at all three Porterville high schools, where cafeterias serve as stand-ins for dance studios with sprung floors.



    From left, Joseluis Bravo, 16; Brandy Perez, 17; and Kevin Lopez, 16, of the Fresno High School folklórico team outside their dressing room at Danzantes del Valle.

    A quick huddle in the dressing area.From Guymon, Okla. (pop. 12,000), to big cities like Dallas and Tucson, folklórico is increasingly being embraced by schools as part of performing arts or physical education curriculums. Maria Luisa Colmenarez, president of the nonprofit Danzantes Unidos, a transnational network of dancers, said it is “a declaration that the students are part of the fabric that makes America America.

    In Grand Prairie, Tex., a town between Dallas and Fort Worth, recruiters from University of Texas of the Permian Basin scout gifted young folkloristas the way their colleagues check out football prospects. In the Dallas Independent School District, folklórico “is on the same plane as ballet and modern,” said Rachel Harrah, the district’s theater and dance director, offered at 19 high schools, 23 middle and two elementary schools, with master classes held four times a year.
    José Tena, a revered dancer and teacher in Las Cruces, N.M., about 45 miles from the border, put it this way: “The purpose is not to create professional dancers, but to create members of the community who value who they are.”



    Dancers from Central High in Fresno.

    The team from the Porterville Unified School District.CreditEmily Berl for The New York TimesAs the students from Monache High stepped onstage in Fresno — the boys in suede over-pants and red kerchiefs, the girls in skirts that become kaleidoscopic swoops of color in motion — they began “El Sapo” (“The Toad”), exchanging side-to-side hops to a marimba beat. As they danced they also stepped into a tradition in which every bandanna, costume, hair ornament, sash, fan, shawl and pair of boots reflects a specific region of Mexico.

    Movement and music are vivid partners in folklórico, in which dancers create intricate, energetic patterns onstage that shift and change with lightning speed. The choreography incorporates traditional steps like lazada, which mimics the roping techniques of vaqueros; or, as in Nayarit and other coastal states, aggressive footwork in which men show off their bravado by dancing with machetes, used to harvest sugar cane. Other steps imitate birds, iguanas and snakes, which are walloped with sombreros. Dances from Jalisco, real crowd pleasers, feature dizzying skirt work, in which twirling double layers in riotous colors become presences in their own right.

    Flirtation, romance and jostling for a plum partner are prime themes, which makes folklórico a good fit for adolescent dancers. “Folklórico has grown in my heart,” said Michael Herrera, a senior at Lincoln High School in San Jose. “Falling in love, chasing after a girl — for me, that’s kind of how it is.”

    Folklórico rose to national prominence in Mexico during the post-Revolutionary period of the 1920s, when several government agencies and institutions began documenting it. The idea was to preserve the dances as living symbols of national diversity, including in public schools, said Olga Nájera-Ramirez, an emeritus professor of anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

    In the United States, the Chicano movement of the late-1960s embraced folklórico as a way to promote Mexican identity and push back against cultural assimilation and discrimination. It was then that it gained a toehold at public schools and universities.



    The team from Fresno High, posing for a picture before performing. CreditEmily Berl for The New York Times

    The Porterville team performing at Danzantes del Valle.

    Some of the merchandise for sale at the High School Show Offs. Fund-raising has become a folklórico fixture. CreditPhotographs by Emily Berl for The New York TimesThe appeal of folklórico cuts across cultures. Dancers at Fresno’s Central High, for example, have included Hmong, Russian and Punjabi students. Sumith Goyal, a senior whose father is Indian and mother Cambodian, is the Central group’s vice president. But for students with Mexican roots it resonates most deeply. The Central High troupe, for example, is called Danzantes de Tlaloc, after the Aztec God of rain — “because dance is the water that nourishes the culture,” Rosa A. Gonzalez Madrigal, the group’s director, said.

    For many students, folklórico is an anchor and a source of resilience. Porterville and environs made international news when its wells went dry during California’s five-year drought. Among the families affected was Ms. Ferrer’s; for nearly a year, they showered at relatives’ houses and Ms. Ferrer sometimes resorted to pouring a jug of bottled water over her head. “It took a toll on us,” she said. “Dance was a relief.”

    Many of the parents work several jobs to get by, as Mr. Gonzales’s mother did, and some students miss weekend rehearsals to work in the fields, supplementing family income. The cost of costumes — which can run up to $300 — and special shoes can be prohibitive. Fund-raisers have become folklórico fixtures, with troupes performing at church fiestas, weddings and even casinos to raise money for stock costumes, and parents selling tamales and T-shirts outside packed auditoriums.

    Sometimes teachers pick up the slack. Among them is Gustavo Sandoval, a science teacher in Thermal, Calif., where 90 percent of high school students live in poverty, many in ramshackle mobile home parks. Mr. Sandoval and his wife, Gabriela, who works in a school kitchen, subsidize an after-school folklórico program at Desert Mirage High School out of their own pockets — about $11,000 a year. “We want to give our youth something positive to do,” he said.

    In Porterville, Mr. Gonzales “made a decision to give it my all,” he said, by using his own seed money to jump-start the program 15 years ago. His sister, Irma Rios, continues to sew many of the costumes.

    The principal of Porterville High, Jose Valdez, said that when he’s having a bad day he wanders into Mr. Gonzales’s rehearsals, where the effervescence and joy lifts his spirits. “It gives the students a reason to come to school,” he said. “They’re all in. They perfect their dances for him,” he said of Mr. Gonzales, “because they see and feel his love for what he does.”

    At the Show Offs, a group of female folkloristas from Porterville performed “La Bruja”(“The Witch”), a dance from Veracruz in which women in gossamer white dresses emerge onstage, a glass containing a lit candle balanced atop each of their heads.

    The ethereal glow suggested the transformative power of folklórico. As Mr. Goyal from Central High, put it: “Even though we stomp really hard, we feel light.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/15/a...T.nav=top-news
    Last edited by Newmexican; 03-20-2018 at 01:52 PM. Reason: spacing

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    Gee what happened to the assimilation? I thought these people were supposed to magically become Americans identifying with our EURPEAN cultural traditions. Isn’t it interesting that this is being celebrated right on top of St. Patrick’s Day? How many do you think wore Green on that day? When all across America Columbus Day is being replaced by “Indigenous Peoples Day,” we see the simultaneous rise of the Mexican holiday “Cinco de Mayo.” Yet across Dixie, in lands that are historically Confederate, the Confederate Battle Flag is disgraced and removed from public view.

    I am sure the apologists for this will tell you it is a harmless celebration of ethnic identity. No it is not; what it is, is the not so gradual replacement of traditional American culture, which, I am sorry but it is true, is European. What we are seeing is the exercise of power by a group when they attain great numbers. Uncontrolled immigration by non-Europeans is making them an ever greater part of our population. And predictably, America as it always has been will cease to exist. The cultural diversity propaganda is a fraud. What it is in practice is the replacement of European culture with alien cultures. And just wait until the Muslims attain greater numbers, can anyone say, the rape epidemic of Sweden? The American “melting pot” was a blending of different people who all identified with our common EUROPEAN culture. There is no “melting pot” of cultures. Whoever has the numbers will determine the culture. When America ceases to be majority European it will cease to be America. And remember that the rule of law, democratic government, freedom of religion and speech, individual rights come from a distinctly and uniquely European philosophy.

    But hey, let’s not let any of those rotten white South African farmers immigrate here. Let them stay and be slaughtered now that their European culture has been replaced by an ethnic African culture.
    Last edited by 17patri76; 03-19-2018 at 10:45 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 17patri76 View Post
    Gee what happened to the assimilation? I thought these people were supposed to magically become Americans identifying with our EURPEAN cultural traditions. Isn’t it interesting that this is being celebrated right on top of St. Patrick’s Day? How many do you think wore Green on that day? When all across America Columbus Day is being replaced by “Indigenous Peoples Day,” we see the simultaneous rise of the Mexican holiday “Cinco de Mayo.” Yet across Dixie, in lands that are historically Confederate, the Confederate Battle Flag is disgraced and removed from public view.

    I am sure the apologists for this will tell you it is a harmless celebration of ethnic identity. No it is not; what it is, is the not so gradual replacement of traditional American culture, which, I am sorry but it is true, is European. What we are seeing is the exercise of power by a group when they attain great numbers. Uncontrolled immigration by non-Europeans is making them an ever greater part of our population. And predictably, America as it always has been will cease to exist. The cultural diversity propaganda is a fraud. What it is in practice is the replacement of European culture with alien cultures. And just wait until the Muslims attain greater numbers, can anyone say, the rape epidemic of Sweden? The American “melting pot” was a blending of different people who all identified with our common EUROPEAN culture. There is no “melting pot” of cultures. Whoever has the numbers will determine the culture. When America ceases to be majority European it will cease to be America. And remember that the rule of law, democratic government, freedom of religion and speech, individual rights come from a distinctly and uniquely European philosophy.

    But hey, let’s not let any of those rotten white South African farmers immigrate here. Let them stay and be slathered now that their European culture has been replaced by an ethnic African culture.
    I respect your right to hold your opinions, but I see this whole folklorico as a cultural demonstration. As long as I don't have to wear those ugly/ridiculous costumes, I can appreciate another person's culture.
    I see things differently, I guess. I'm of the same stock as Europeans but I'm a full blooded American: nothing else.
    I couldn't care less about St. Patrick, Columbus, Boxing Day, Bastille Day. I don't care about Royal weddings and their ugly little babys.
    To me, Europe is "over there". While I do fear for them when it comes to the Islamic invasion, I have to remind myself that they are allowing it to happen. We Americans are strong enough to have our own celebrations without being "threatened" by foreigners that want to drink heavily on the Fifth of May.

    Celebrations are a la carte: pick the ones you like, leave the rest for others...

    I'm just wondering, do you have friends that are different than you?

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    Surprised they are not waving a mexican flag. This is over the top, it is replacing American ways with mexican ways. Pay your taxes to fund this too! And an American student CANNOT wear a tshirt with our flag in school!
    Last edited by artist; 03-18-2018 at 11:49 AM.
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    Soon if not now we will be paying for this. When a student is on the free and reduced lunch program they can get vouchers for free sports shoes, cheerleading outfits, band instruments etc. Why fund raise like my kids did when you can get taxpayers to pick up the bills? Grr!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayday View Post
    Soon if not now we will be paying for this. When a student is on the free and reduced lunch program they can get vouchers for free sports shoes, cheerleading outfits, band instruments etc. Why fund raise like my kids did when you can get taxpayers to pick up the bills? Grr!
    I didn't raise money for my school so I do know much about that.

    But I know there was money available when ballet needed it. I took a ballet course in high school. Not because I valued the art but because I was "a growing boy"

    The drama department had a huge Hamlet production and the funding came very easy.

    If my parents had a problem with anything, I know they would make their voices heard.

    If this is what's going on in that school district, either the people approve or they don't approve but keep silent.

    Either way, it's none of my business because I'm not a part of it and I'm not giving them one red cent.

    I used to pay for cable before I cut the cord and moved to internet based TV = https://www.sling.com/

    Univision and Telemundo are automatically included on most cable platforms, so indirectly anyone that wants cable have to fund
    Spanish language TV.
    Last edited by Boomslang; 03-19-2018 at 09:15 PM.

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    Quotation from post by Boomslang: “We Americans are strong enough to have our own celebrations without being ‘threatened’ by foreigners that want to drink heavily on the Fifth of May.”

    Very good. Great spin, but I do not feel “threatened” because somebody celebrates a different holiday. I do not feel “threatened” when Jews celebrate Chanukah instead of Christmas. What I have done is to point out an obvious effort to dismantle and reconstruct the very nature of our society. That is not fear; it is an objective conclusion from the factual evidence that is everywhere. Why is it that “Indigenous Peoples Day” is replacing Columbus Day? If American Indians want some recognition and take pride in their heritage, I can support that. Let us celebrate both. But that is not what is happening; Columbus Day is being replaced. Not long ago, in annual rallies in Columbia South Carolina honoring Martin Luther King Jr., large black boxes had been built around a statue of George Washington, blocking it from sight. Removing the Confederate Battle Flag and monuments from public display is effectively changing the public perception of what is American, and that is just the beginning. Christopher Columbus, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Andrew Jackson, Woodrow Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt (none of them Confederates) and our pioneer ancestors in general have all come under attack with efforts to remove their monuments from public places. And it is intensifying over time.It is not an expression a uniquely American culture, it is not diversity; it is not let everybody do their thing; it is replacement. We have the NFL football players who showed disrespect for our national flag by “taking a knee” during the national anthem.Why is it when white students wore clothing with American flags to school on Cinco de Mayo they were sent home?All of this is happening simultaneously with a massive uncontrolled flood of aliens who are overwhelmingly not Europeans.In the schools across America our history and our heroes are being trashed in front of our children. Our kids are being taught to hate their ancestor and be ashamed of who they are.I could fill a library with anecdotes like these.California is being turned into a province of Mexico. Are you telling me you are not aware of any of this? I am sorry but our history, our founders, heroes and culture are overwhelmingly EUROPEAN. In defending our European culture we are defending America.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 17patri76 View Post
    Quotation from post by Boomslang: “We Americans are strong enough to have our own celebrations without being ‘threatened’ by foreigners that want to drink heavily on the Fifth of May.”

    Very good. Great spin, but I do not feel “threatened” because somebody celebrates a different holiday. I do not feel “threatened” when Jews celebrate Chanukah instead of Christmas. What I have done is to point out an obvious effort to dismantle and reconstruct the very nature of our society. That is not fear; it is an objective conclusion from the factual evidence that is everywhere. Why is it that “Indigenous Peoples Day” is replacing Columbus Day? If American Indians want some recognition and take pride in their heritage, I can support that. Let us celebrate both. But that is not what is happening; Columbus Day is being replaced. Not long ago, in annual rallies in Columbia South Carolina honoring Martin Luther King Jr., large black boxes had been built around a statue of George Washington, blocking it from sight. Removing the Confederate Battle Flag and monuments from public display is effectively changing the public perception of what is American, and that is just the beginning. Christopher Columbus, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Andrew Jackson, Woodrow Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt (none of them Confederates) and our pioneer ancestors in general have all come under attack with efforts to remove their monuments from public places. And it is intensifying over time.It is not an expression a uniquely American culture, it is not diversity; it is not let everybody do their thing; it is replacement. We have the NFL football players who showed disrespect for our national flag by “taking a knee” during the national anthem.Why is it when white students wore clothing with American flags to school on Cinco de Mayo they were sent home?All of this is happening simultaneously with a massive uncontrolled flood of aliens who are overwhelmingly not Europeans.In the schools across America our history and our heroes are being trashed in front of our children. Our kids are being taught to hate their ancestor and be ashamed of who they are.I could fill a library with anecdotes like these.California is being turned into a province of Mexico. Are you telling me you are not aware of any of this? I am sorry but our history, our founders, heroes and culture are overwhelmingly EUROPEAN. In defending our European culture we are defending America.
    I understand your point. Holidays, art and heroes are meant to searve the people that celebrate or participate.

    Freedom is the element that I focus on. It's very simple concept. If I am free to do a thing, I'm equally free not to do a thing. That includes standing or kneeling and even laying down, if a person chooses to, with regard to the National Anthem.

    The people you mentioned are not heroes to many Americans. Period.

    Honoring the "Stars and Bars" is not a good thing to most Americans.

    Americans are free to honor and eat and worship and celebrate anything they want.

    Freedom is the key!
    Last edited by Boomslang; 03-20-2018 at 01:31 PM.

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    The people you mentioned are not heroes to many Americans. Period.
    Honoring the "Stars and Bars" is not a good thing to most Americans.
    WRONG! that is snowflake talk and un-American. Doubt one other person on this site would agree with you but you say it as if you speak for everyone. You are just projecting your opinion.

    Where would this country be w/o the input of great Americans first & foremost the founding fathers & leaders like Roosevelt that initiated our national parks system. Before downplaying our historical figures, put yourself into the mode of their day if you can. History needs to be taken into account.

    Your opinion goes with removing/displacing Americans for illegal border crossers. Remove our American symbols, our freedom to celebrate our traditional holidays and replace with foreigners' traditions/holidays, can't display an American flag and many other insults are what we Americans will refuse to accept. The idea is to assimilate to American ways not visa-versa. And to tolerate this from illegals that have no right to be in this country w/o documentation goes against everything this website stands for. We want our laws enforced, not permission to remove our freedoms or replace us for cheap labor and no cost anchor babies.
    Last edited by artist; 03-20-2018 at 01:47 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by artist View Post
    WRONG! that is snowflake talk and un-American. Doubt one other person on this site would agree with you but you say it as if you speak for everyone. You are just projecting your opinion.

    Where would this country be w/o the input of great Americans first & foremost the founding fathers & leaders like Roosevelt that initiated our national parks system. Before downplaying our historical figures, put yourself into the mode of their day if you can. History needs to be taken into account.

    Your opinion goes with removing/displacing Americans for illegal border crossers. Remove our American symbols, our freedom to celebrate our traditional holidays and replace with foreigners' traditions/holidays, can't display an American flag and many other insults are what we Americans will refuse to accept. The idea is to assimilate to American ways not visa-versa. And to tolerate this from illegals that have no right to be in this country w/o documentation goes against everything this website stands for. We want our laws enforced, not permission to remove our freedoms or replace us for cheap labor and no cost anchor babies.
    Oh, I forgot...
    Thanks!

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