Written by: Daisy Hernandez
As I entered the auditorium I could feel the excitement from the people around me. Friends and family chattered among themselves as they waited for the show to start. The lights dimmed and the audience started to clap as they could barely hold their excitement. I settle into my seat as the red curtains opened.
Out came the producer of the event. Randy Lopez is a CWU student with 50 years of folklorico experience, so it only fits that he would produce the event. He is a dancer, choreographer, producer and owner of The Ballet Folklorico De Estados Unidos, and Los Bailadores Del Sol Yakima. Speaking to Randy is an experience in itself. I’ve never met a man who speaks with so much passion. Randy’s goal is to pass on the knowledge of traditional dances to the next generation.
The end of my conversation with Randy ended with heart warming tears. “I’m so happy I have a second chance,” he says referring to battling cancer for many years now. Randy doesn’t let his illness define what he can do, in fact it creates a burning passion to create more.
The emcee of the night was Jose Iniguez, CWU alumnus and winner of the prestigious 2016 Univision Latin Music Director’s Choice Award. He opened the show by welcoming and thanking the crowd for coming out. As he started to sing, his voice filled the auditorium to the point he didn’t need a microphone. The crowd cheered and clapped to his performance.
The purpose of the show was to highlight true to tradition folklorico dances. The dances would go in chronological order with Con Cheros, Guerrero, Veracruz, Nayarit, and Jalisco.
As the Con Cheros segment finished up, my family started arriving to the show. No surprise, my family is always late. I decided to invite my family because we don’t get the opportunity to surround ourselves with theatrical Mexican performances. As an aunt of eight nieces and nephews, I hold myself responsible to educate them about their roots and culture. I wanted them to experience and learn the beauty of Mexico.
The show was filled with vibrant colors, fast steps, beautiful dresses and big smiles. The dances were a mixture of males and females, often dancing with one another. Each step flawlessly coordinated to make a seamless performance. The dancers smiled wide through each and every step, almost making me believe they were a real couple in love.
The CWU mariachi performed throughout the evening, singing famous traditional Mexican songs.
As it was time for the Vera Cruz segment, Randy prepared for his dancing solo. As he stepped on the stage, I could sense his experience and knowledge. He is a confident man, and he definitely showcases it through his dancing. His steps increased with the flow of the rhythm. The crowd was pumped, yelling, “Go Randy!” He finished his dance and welcomed more dancers to join the Machete dance.
The energy in the room was increasing. We could tell the show was coming to an end. Jose performed one last time and thanked Randy for an amazing show. They ended the show with a call to action. They wanted us to spread the word of folklorico to everyone we know. Thus, I am sharing what I experienced with you. Hopefully, you can come next year and experience the show with your own eyes.