GREEN BAY, Wisc. (WFRV) – The traditional folk dances of Mexico have been passed down through the generations.
They are performed worldwide to this day and that includes at Green Bay’s Nicolet Elementary School.
Bilingual teachers Marco Guillen and Minerva Escamilla started SOL-Baille Folklorico de Nicolet for their students in 2016.
Two years later, they secured funding for the costumes as the dress of the dancer reflects the region where the steps originated.
For example, a longer, more colorful dress is for the style of dance from the south. A shorter dress is worn for the polka-style dance of the north where the dancer’s feet can be seen more easily.
“We learned these dances growing up and now we learned them again,” says Escamilla who also noted that sometimes they make the dances easier for the first-time dancers.
“The kids were very proud to show their culture through music and dance,” added Guillen.
The Covid-19 pandemic stopped their pubic performances, but this Hispanic Heritage month they’re ramping up their efforts to recruit more dancers to their troupe of ten dancers.
They are optimistic that the next generation will follow in their footsteps when it comes to celebrating their culture and living the American dream.
“When they see a teacher who is Hispanic,” said Escamilla, “we can be a role model. So, they can achieve their goals and become whoever they want to become.”