BRYAN, TX — Baile Folklórico is a traditional dance of celebration in Mexico that has been brought to the Brazos valley where people of all cultures have enjoyed watching the talented dancers from Bryan ISD.
Augustin Lara, a Spanish teacher at Neal Elementary, was born and raised in Mexico.
Dancing ballet folkórico as a child inspired him to pass on the tradition.
”I noticed that there were not any Hispanic celebrations or anything for the Hispanic community especially for kids,” said Augustin Lara, Director of Los Altos De Jaliscos Ballet Folklórico dance team and Spanish Professor at Neal Elementary.
Lara’s dance team was originally made up of his students, but is now open to all Bryan ISD students.
”Comprised of 50 students, all of them from Bryan ISD, so we’re a family, we’re a community,” said Lara.
To prepare for competition, the dancer’s families always step up to help.
With their help, Los Altos De Jalisco leave many of their competitions as award winners.
”Mothers are very, very important in our group because many times they make the dresses, they make the hair pieces for girls,” said Lara.
Combined, the colorful clothing, the movement of the dance, along with the dancer’s expressions, makes the dance come alive as they honor their Mexican culture with others.
”It feels like we’re showing who we truly are, what’s behind...our story our history,” said Sitlaoy De Santiago, a dancer on the ballet folklórico dance team.
Dancers like Juan appreciate the ballet folklórico and the opportunities it brings to dancers.
”Getting to be challenged and like spending a little bit of hours dancing and hanging out with my friends,” said Juan, a dancer on the ballet folklórico dance team.
Director Augustin Lara says he is proud of the growth he sees in all his dancers. Many times, students join the team very shy and leave with an abundance of confidence. He enjoys empowering them with pride in their culture.
The different colors and textures in the clothing represents the living culture in each region of Mexico.
The ballet folklórico Los Altos De Jalisco’s team also dance at many events upon request such as birthdays, nursing homes, and family celebrations.