Week #5: Mexican Dance with FTH Teaching Artist Alberto Lopez

This week’s lessons introduce you to Mexican dance led by Flushing Town Hall Teaching Artist Alberto Lopez. Alberto is a master dance teacher, choreographer, costume designer and artistic director of Calpulli Mexican Dance company. Pausing at home doesn’t stop him from dancing, especially his passion — Mexican dances! Let’s join Alberto at his apartment in Queens and explore folk dances from Jalisco and Veracruz with what you have at home.

>>Click HERE for a pre-lessons family activity sheet


Day 1 

Flushing Town Hall teaching artist Alberto Lopez introduces you to Mexican dance with an easy-to-follow, energetic warm-up. The music La Raspa is a couple dance which originated in Veracruz and often performed during celebrations. Invite your sister, brother or any member of your family as your dance partner and let’s start dancing!

>>Click HERE for a post-lesson family activity sheet


Day 2 

In this lesson, you are going to learn the most recognizable song and dance in Jalisco, Mexico — El jarabe tapatio, known as the Mexican Hat Dance. Alberto will also explain the location of Jalisco on the map and show you the traditional Mexican male costume charro, a large brimmed hat sombrero and special shoes botas.

>>Click HERE for a post-lesson family activity sheet


Day 3

Have you ever heard of La Bamba? Today Alberto will teach you this famous folk dance from Veracruz. You will need your homemade dance prop: one ribbon and one fan. You can use any long piece of fabric in the house, and you can create a fan by simply putting one piece of cardboard between the chopsticks. You will learn how to tie a ribbon into a beautiful bow with only your feet! 

>>Click HERE for a post-lesson family activity sheet


Day 4 

Now that you have been introduced to La bamba, are you ready to put all the steps together and dance with music? Bring your homemade fan or sombrero and dress in your favorite costume. Add some gritos (shouts) and don’t forget to take a bow at the end. 

>>Click HERE for a post-lesson family activity sheet


Day 5 

Please tune in to our Facebook Page and enjoy a variety of folkloric Mexican dances performed by Calpulli Mexican Dance Company. This compilation show includes Mexika Tiawi the traditional Aztec dance in Nahuatl, Boda Mexican from Guerrero, and Tierras Nayaritas from Nayarit. Try dancing along with the similar steps that Alberto taught you.