There are many new organizations this year at WT. Many of them range from academic to social, but there’s a new one that has to do more with traditions and culture. A new WTAMU dance group, called Corazon de Tejas, or Heart of Texas, specializes in baile folklórico. Baile folklórico, meaning “folk dance” in Spanish, is a collective term for Latin American dances that highlight local folk culture.
Animal Science major Daniel Guadian heads the group. Guadian has performed the traditional Mexican dance for the last twelve years, throughout high school and junior high, and has performed all over the country. He placed second in a national competition held in Los Angeles, and wanted to continue it his passion and extend it beyond high school.
“Last year, [we were asked] to do a dance at Dias de Los Muertos, and we had so much fun doing it that we decided to form a group out of it,” Guadian said.
He also said as soon as their group comes together, they would bring in a choreographer from Dallas and start to compete. Already 20-25 students are interested in joining the new group.
“I am the advisor and very excited about promoting artistic expressions of culture and introducing this style of dance to the WT and Panhandle community,” said Dr. Yvette Castillo, the Chair of the Counselor Education Program. “The group hopes to promote cultural awareness through dance showcasing authentic Mexican customs and celebration.”
Corazon de Tejas has a unique challenge facing them, as many people aren’t familiar with baile folklorico.
“It was kind of hard putting the group together, because a lot of people didn’t know what it is,” Corazon de Tejas Vice-President Lluvia Vidaña said.
One of Vidaña’s favorite moments was last year’s Dias de Los Muertos performance, when the audience reaction was so overwhelming that it inspired them to collaborate. They are still recruiting, with hopes of a big group.
“There is really no limit [in members], especially for the girls because the skirts are sometimes so heavy that you need rotations when they are dancing,” she said.
Vidaña hopes to show a different cultural group to WT and showcase a traditional culture that many have been forgotten.
Corazon de Tejas is currently searching for interested students who would like to participate in a week-long dance training starting Nov. 12 through Nov. 16. Auditions will be held Nov. 16. Plans for a spring showcase of baile folklórico is in the works.