7 Spectacular and Typical Mexican Dances

In Mexico we have different cultures, traditions, languages ​​and even different traditional and folkloric Mexican dances that represent each state of the Mexican Republic that were born to represent mexicans.

Sometimes we have seen these traditional dances from Mexico at festivals such as September 15, November 20 or some other civic event, party and festivals; and of course, the connoisseurs already know that I am referring to the popular “Typical Dances of Mexico”

The country there are countless schools, academies and ballets where they are dedicated to practicing different regional types of mexican dances to present them on stage.

In each costume, hairstyle, braids or flowers that are placed on the head, accessories, and in general the way of performing these Mexican dances have been preserved through several generations of proud Mexicans. Yes, that’s Mexico!

And well, for those who don’t know much about the folkloric dances of Mexico or mexican dance styles, don’t worry, keep reading to learn about their clothing, costumes and some of the most internationally recognized Mexican traditional dances. 

Can you imagine how far our culture reaches?

You probably already know some of this mexican dancing styles, or at least you have heard them somewhere, but let’s delve a little deeper into these popular Mexican dances, I leave you with the following list:

1. Jarabe Tapatio, Jalisco

The Jarabe Tapatío is a folk dance originating from the beautiful lands of the state of Jalisco, created at the end of the 19th century

Surely many love it, if not dance it at least enjoy it, but did you know that this dance represents Mexico internationally? Yes, so much so that we have seen it in some movies or commercials.

Said to be the “National Dance of Mexico”, it is originally accompanied by mariachis playing the song while a group of dancers flirtatiously stomp on stage.

Jalisco Costume – Jarabe Tapatio

The traditional costumes for women are long and wide long-sleeved dresses with ribbons in very striking colors, their footwear is mid-calf boots, either white or black, and their hair is decorated with ribbons and bows that get entangled in the braids.

For men, they wear a charro suit with buttons on the sides of their pants and in front of their jacket, under the jacket they wear a white shirt with a bow tie that sticks to the neck, these can be in different bright colors, in terms of footwear they wear black boots and on their heads they wear a charro hat, the best known in all of Mexico.

Oh yes, “arriba” Jalisco!

2. Polka Norteña, Northern States of Mexico

The Polka, originally this dance comes from Europe, it comes from the Germans because it is said that when they immigrated to America between the north of Mexico and the south of the United States in Texas to work in the factories of those times.

They brought with them its musical instruments such as accordions, saxophone, the tololoche bajo sexto and its European-style polka rhythm that were elegant ballroom dances that were danced in pairs, this in the mid-19th century.

But then…  How did the Polka get to Mexico as we know it now? Well, in those days the indigenous people heard and saw this type of dance in these people of high social class and they began to adopt it, imitating the dance but giving it a different, very Mexican style.

This is where they began to practice it and also during this same time, the famous “Mexican Corrido” together with the “Mexican Polka” stayed to represent the northern states of the country to mention a few where this type of genre is very common are in Chihuahua, Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, Sonora, Coahuila, Baja California, among other border states and those that belong to the North Zone of the Country.

Northern Polka Suit

Women’s costumes can be skirts with shirts or long, wide skirt dresses with ribbons around them, mostly of a single color, they are long-sleeved and have a high neck with lace, and at the waist, there is a long ribbon to tie it around the waist giving the end the shape of a large bow, the shoes can be white or black mid-calf boots and the hair is combed with a high bun, placing a bow on top of the hairstyle.

In men, their suit can be jeans or cowboy pants with a long-sleeved checkered shirt or over it a jacket with fringes on the sides and a tied handkerchief around the neck, on their heads they wear a northern hat and wear cowboy boots.

3. La Bamba, Veracruz

This is a Folkloric dance originating from the beautiful state of Veracruz, house of the Son Jarocho, one of the best-known and most representative dances in Mexico that symbolizes Veracruz is La Bamba, La Bruja and Colás.

To give rhythm to this style of dance, instruments such as the harp, guitar, marimba, among others, are used.

But among these three well-known dances, the one that most represents Veracruz in all of Mexico and also internationally is ” La Bamba”, it is said to be the “Hymn of Veracruz” and of course, this is because its rhythm and choreography are unrecognizable.

A dance that is commonly danced by a single couple, is a traditional song composed by a Mexican author.

But how was this famous dance born? It arises from the mixture between the Seguidillas and Fandangos dance styles of the Spanish and between the Zapateados and Guajiras of the Cubans, during their arrival and stay they brought these rhythms because we need to remember that Veracruz was the first port of arrival of the Spaniards in the last years of the 17th century.

Veracruz Costume – La Bamba

The costumes: the women wear a long, wide and very wavy skirt that is made and decorated with lace; the blouse they wear is the same color as the skirt and sleeveless, it is a completely white suit; A black velvet apron decorated with embroidery of colored flowers is worn on the skirt and on one side they wear a red handkerchief; a fully embroidered or silk shawl is worn over the blouse; they also wear a red shawl with fringes at the ends.

In the accessories, they wear a white “abanico”, they also wear accessories such as bracelets, large earrings and very striking gold or gold necklaces; The hairstyle is a high bun, surrounded by a braid and on one side of the bun the head is decorated with colored flowers, a red bow and a comb over the hairstyle.

As for the men, their suit is a little simpler than that of the women, since it is only white pants and their shirt is a long-sleeved guayabera, equally white, and a red scarf is tied around their neck, they usually wear white boots and a hat made of palm.

 Those are the jarochos!

4. Flor de Piña, Oaxaca

Perhaps this dance is not one of the best known outside of Mexico, but it is one of the most representatives of the state of Oaxaca and perhaps we have seen it in dances or civic events, but surely you have no idea how this dance was born.

The truth is somewhat surprising because this dance was born in one of the municipalities of Oaxaca, in “San Juan Bautista Tuxtepec”, and this thanks to the fact that it was the idea of ​​Governor Alfonso Pérez Gasga in 1958, because he said that the jarocho costumes were not proper from the state of Oaxaca so he was the one who sent an official letter to request that an indigenous choreography be designed for the musical work “Flor de Piña”, a song composed by an Oaxacan Don Samuel Mondragón.

It was then that the teacher Paulina Solís was in charge of designing this choreography that we know today, it is a dance that only women dance, to represent the Tuxtepeca indigenous woman, according to comments it is said that this dance means “The joy of being a woman for the good harvest of the pineapple”.

Oaxaca Costume – Flor de Piña

And well, in terms of clothing, the woman wears a huipil of different designs or shapes and bright colors, the footwear usually wears leather huaraches, the hairstyle is two long braids that have ribbons of various colors and the most representative thing is the pineapple they wear on the shoulder that also has tied colored ribbons.

5. Dance of the Old Men (Los Viejitos), Michoacan

Another of the most well-known dances throughout Mexico is the Dance of “Los Viejitos”, it is also one of the dances that are known internationally and it is undoubtedly a spectacular dance that originated in the state of Michoacán and specifically from the town of Jarácuaro, and it is said that it arises from the pre-Hispanic era when honor was given to the Old God or God of Fire.

It is a dance only danced by men disguised as old men, with a costume that represents the Purépecha region, it is a dance with a humorous sense and every year it is danced at parties such as ChristmasNew Year and Candelaria Day.

Michoacan Custome – Dance of the Old Men

The suit that the men wear is white cloth or blanket pants, over this, they wear a serape, also known as the jorongo, they wear a mask with the face of an old man and a cane in hand, they also wear a handkerchief tied on their heads and a hat decorated with colored ribbons and leather huaraches.

6. Dance of the Deer, Sonora

This dance has pre-Hispanic origins, it was a ritual performed by the Yaqui Indians (Indigenous of the state of Sonora) and the Mayo Indians when hunting deer because for them it was an animal they admired.

The instruments used in the deer dance are just a flute and a water drum.

For this dance three characters appear: one is the deer, the second is the pascola and the last is the coyote; the wardrobe of the man who dresses imitating the deer carries a black or white handkerchief on his head and has a stuffed deer head, it may be adorned with colored ribbons, its body is uncovered because they only wear a leather loincloth, on their ankles they have rattles and in their hands, they have large rattles.

The pascolas only wear a lock of hair on their heads wrapped in a colored ribbon and colorful black and white necklaces, they also wear a painted mask giving shape to eyebrows, mustaches and beards and they also wear a loincloth.

As for those who disguise themselves as coyotes, they carry a serape or jorongo, on their heads they wear a plume of eagle feathers similar to the Indians and lastly, in their hand they carry a bow to hunt the deer.

Sonora Costume – Dance of the Deer

The suit that the men wear is white cloth or blanket pants, over this they wear a serape or also known as the jorongo, they wear a mask with the face of an old man and a cane in hand, they also wear on their heads tied a handkerchief and a hat decorated with colored ribbons and as far as footwear is concerned, they are leather huaraches.

7. Jarana, Yucatan

Another of the best-known dances in Mexico is the Jarana of Yucatán, very typical of the southern part of Mexico in the Yucatán peninsula, so if you are about to visit this state, go to Merida, where every Sunday you can enjoy in front of the municipal palace, revelry such as the famous dance of “La Cabeza de Cochino”“Chinito Koy Koy” and among many others.

This type of dance arises right there in Yucatan, it is known as mestizo jarana and it is normally danced in couples, it was born between the 17th and 18th centuries between the Spanish era.

But did you know, that the name “Jarana” arose when in Spanish times the festivities began and they said that the Jarana had already begun, well, this was adopted by the indigenous people since they thought that by saying that the revelry had begun, they believed that they were referring to a rhythm of music they played at parties.

This is how they adopted the jarana and created their own style or rhythm.

Yucatan Costume – Jarana Mestiza

The costumes worn by the woman are a huipil with hand-embroidered flower decorations, low-heeled white shoes that can sometimes also be decorated with hand-embroidered flowers, they wear shawls between the arms, in the accessories they use gold necklaces and earrings, the hairstyle it is a chongo adorned with colored flowers.

For men they wear white pants, a white shirt or a long-sleeved guayabera, they also wear a red scarf, leather sandals on their shoes and a hat on their heads.

What do you think of this list of the typical dances of Mexico? Did you feel like tapping? What is your favorite?

Hurray Mexico!

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