All semester-long, the FCC Dance 17A class has been learning about folkloric dancing. Our professor had been teaching us the history behind the dances, and why they were done. A normal class day would consist of showing up to class, working out and doing warm-ups, learning the footwork and steps for the dances, and then at the end, we would have a lecture on the history of the dances, the techniques, clothing worn and why, and what instruments were used. All the students were working hard to learn the techniques and having fun understanding where those techniques came from.
In late October we found out that we would actually perform the dances that we had spent all semester learning. And I was very excited to hear this, but at the same time very nervous.
There were two dances that were prepared for our final performance. Campeche and Tamaulipas. These regions are states in Mexico and their cultures and lifestyles are demonstrated through their dances.
Tamaulipas is in the northern part of Mexico and was highly influenced by Eastern European immigrants in the 19th century. Cattle ranching became an important way of life and a "vaquero" (cowboy) lifestyle arose.
Campeche is along the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and was inhabited by Mayans prior to the Spanish conquest. This region was prone to pirates and fortifications were built to prevent pirates in the 1630s. There are always celebrations in Campeche.
Since the hairpieces, props, and instruments were hand-made in the past by our ancestors, the class had to create their own hairpieces and props for their performance. Our professor helped us create the props and hairpieces for our performance.
We had to tie the yarn to the table and loop it over and over about 80 to 100 times around the table to make the yarn thicker and thicker. We then tied the end and cut the other end. Once you do that, you braid the yarn and add in a white ribbon. Finally, you make a bow on the end of the braid
The ladies had to learn to do their makeup for the performance. This is performance makeup, which is very different than doing your daily makeup.
Which, was fun to learn, but at the same time, performance makeup is way different than the makeup I am used to doing and wearing. You have to pack a ton of makeup, especially blush, because, on stage, the lighting and everything affects the way the crowd sees your makeup. Meaning that you have to wear a lot more than usual because if you don’t have a lot on, no one will even know if you’re wearing makeup or not, explained professor Torres, FCC Dance 17A.
Getting ready before the show was a little hectic. We all had to show up 3 hours before the show. We had to show up with our hair and makeup mostly done. Then we helped each other with makeup and hair touch-ups. And after that, we all helped each other into costumes and made sure that they looked good.
We then took the stage before the show to run through the dances and to make any last-minute changes, which there were a few last minutes changes since one of the dancers couldn’t make it to the performance after all.
Then, we waited. Waiting to perform is one of the most nerve-wracking things. You start to get nervous and excited all at the same time.
"I am excited and nervous at the same time," said a sophomore at FCC Dulce.
But the second your're actually up on the stage performing, all the worrying washes away, as you smile at the crowd and do your thing. I had a lot of fun.
Hearing the applause of the crowd was a good feeling, knowing that all your hard work and long nights of practice truly paid off.
"The performance was of high energy and looked really good," said professor Dr. Torres.