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Mexico is fortunate in having a rich variety of dances. Dancing came from The Aztec civilization and was preformed to reflect the religious, spiritual and emotional experiences of the people's lives.
In the present the folkloric dances reflect the spanish influence on the native dances. The dances are known as Pascolas and Matachines those dances are from the states of Sonora, Sinaloa, Chihuahua and Durango. In the pascolas the dancers imitate the wild animals very well. Those dances are named after animals, venado (deer), vivora (snake) etc. The Matachines are ritual dances in which the dancers join because they had promised to god in illness or for penitence. The dancers make two lines whith avariaty of simple steps and figures. The indigenas tarahumaras have a different version of the Matachines they paint their faces or use masks representing animals and make the public laugh with their play acting.
In the region known as the Huasteca, which included the states of San Luis Potosi, Hidalggo and Veracruz their dances are called Huapangos the dancers prefered to perform on a wooden platform which makes the steps more resonant.
The sound of the steps enhance the dances. As a sing of brave a dancer puts her or his head a glass filled with water and dances without spelling a drop. "LA BAMBA" is a guapango dance in the state of Veracruz, in this dance a scarf is placed in the floor with the dancer tie making a bow with their feet while they are making a complicated "zapateado", and ending showing the bow to the public.
In the state of Guerrero there are interesting dances. One of them is " Hold the machetes" , danced by two men and a girl in with a fight is simulated with machetes.
The dances of Yucatan, Campeche, Tabasco and Quintana Roo are known as "Jaranas", and are similars to the Spanish "Jota", when the conquers introduced the "seguidillas" and "sapateados" into Yucatan, the dancers of the aboriginals dances soon absorbed the new music and the combined the new musical emotions into the "jaranas".
Photo from Ballet Folklorico de la maestra Amalia Hernandez.