Dancing around the world
The Mexican Hat Dance
October 2006, Oaxaca
Image: The Mexican Hat Dance
Olé (pronounced oh-lay) means Hooray in Spanish and is often shouted by dancers when performing in The Mexican Hat Dance! Mexico has many different types of music and dance and the best time to see and hear all of them is at a fiesta! Last week we went to the Guelaguerza festival in Oaxaca which is a world famous and colourful festival that celebrates both dance and music. We were lucky enough to see The Mexican Hat Dance which is actually the national dance of Mexico and is sometimes known as Jarabes which means Sweet Syrup. The men dress as cowboys Charros and they wear big sombreros (large broad-brimmed hats) and the traditional Spanish Charros suits which have silver studs on the trousers. The women wear brightly coloured full skirts with ribbons that swirl as the couples twirl around a sombrero on the ground. The Mexican Hat Dance can be performed with one partner or as part of a group and involves a lot of tapping of heels and clapping.
We are now staying in Guadalaja which is the second largest city in Mexico and also where The Mexican Hat Dance as well as Mariachi Music (a type of Mexican Music), Tequila (an alcoholic drink), and the Sombrero originated. Jake and I have been trying to learn how to perform the Mexican Hat Dance.Tonight we are going to see The National Folkloric Ballet of Mexico one of the most famous dance companies of Mexico. I hope you are well - we will write next month!