The stage travels, and outbursts, many swirling, dazzling colors, followed by a stampede of footwork accompanying the sound of the mariachi. Envision it. Mesmerizing isn't it?
Loud, colorful, and live. Three words that describe the engaging form of dance, Ballet Folklorico.
In the 1960’s, Ballet Folklorico was founded in the United States by the famous choreographer, Amelia Hernandez. With the combination of her own heritage and experience of classical ballet, she merged the two, creating Ballet Folklorico. It is traditional Mexican dances and ballet characteristics with a great emphasis on local folk culture.
But wait! Isn't that appropriating Mexican culture? No.
Cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation. Two very different terms that many individuals have yet to comprehend. It’s understandable, it can be daunting trying to figure out how to please everyone or at a minimum not offend anyone. The difference between the two is not always clear. There is a very thin line to walk on.
It is not wrong to wear clothing or eat food from cultures different from your own, but the minute credit is not given to the right people is the minute one’s “appreciation” turns into appropriation.
Cultural appropriation is not seen exclusively in dance but rather a multitude of pop culture. For example in fashion. Fashion is a huge part of today's culture, and many designers created their clothing through the inspiration of other objects and or culture. Appropriation begins to