I’d Rather Be Dancing Central and South American Folk Dances

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Let’s get away from it all and go dancing south of the border!

La raspa is a popular dance from Mexico, often taught to children in the United States. When I was a little girl, I knew it as “The Mexican Hat Dance”:

Santa Rita is a couples dance from Mexico strongly influenced by the European polka. It originated in the state of Chihuahua and crossed the border into southern Texas:

Chilili is from Bolivia and Peru. We do this dance at Phoenix International Folk Dancers:

Carnevalito is an easy dance from Bolivia, a favorite of Orff instructors (elementary general music teachers will know what I’m talking about):

Fado Blanquito may have originated in Portugal; it is also danced in Brazil:

We have done Flor Amarosa from Brazil at Phoenix International Folk Dancers:

Agradacer y abraçar means “thank and embrace.” It’s an easy circle dance from Brazil:

Circular is a three-pattern dance from Brazil. The first pattern is a grapevine; the second is a samba; and the third is improvisation:

São como os meus, olhos teus is a sacred circle dance from Brazil:

Here are some dancers in Cartagena doing a traditional Colombian dance (I’m sorry—I don’t know the name, but I like the costumes and the drums):

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