This year, sophomore Ashley Arellano restarted Baile Folklórico, a Latin-American dancing club. She explained, “I started it because I wanted to show people our culture, what we do as dancers, and how we support each other as friends.” Baile Folkórico, or “folkloric dance,” is inspired by folk culture in Latin America.
The club meets at Flextime and lunch to prepare performances for upcoming events, for example M-A’s Día de Los Muertos festival or the Homecoming Rally. They also sometimes perform outside of M-A at community events: “We were asked to collaborate with the Boys and Girls Club at the East Palo Alto clubhouse for their multicultural day,” Arellano explained.
The club existed at M-A a few years ago, but faded out of use. Arellano said, “Last year, I didn’t feel very involved with my culture, but this year, when I restarted Baile Folklórico, I was able to form that strong connection.”
Arellano said that she especially enjoys “the feeling of freedom while my skirt is swooshing during performances.” Her current favorite memory of being in the club is last year’s Día de los Muertos performance. “That was the re-instated club’s first performance, so it’s one that will always be very special to me. I danced with two other girls that night, and it was a memorable experience for us, and a special moment for the rebirth of the club.”
Sophomore club member Zoe Medina said, “If we have an upcoming performance or fundraising event, we have a lot of practice, so I have to stay really organized with my other commitments like homework and family.”
Medina would advise anyone interested in joining the club that, “You should never be scared to try new things, and especially don’t be hesitant if you don’t have much dancing experience because a lot of us didn’t have dance experience until we joined Baile Folklorico. It’s not just about representing our culture, but also making new friends.”
“We always encourage and welcome people that don’t have experience,” Arellano said. “Everyone starts with the basics and then improves their way up. We always make sure everyone is at a consistent pace where everyone feels like they could easily catch on with the others.”
Baile Folklórico meets in either F-19 or the dance room on Wednesdays and Thursdays when prepping for upcoming events. You can join by emailing Arellano at email@example.com.