Folklorico: What is it?


Marisa Alvarez, Senior Staff Writer

Ballet Folklorico. It’s a form of dancing, specifically Mexican folk dancing. This particular dance was created by Amalia Hernandez in the 1950’s, unfortunately the date and place of where Folklorico was created is not confirmed, we still know that it was definitely created in mexico around the 1950’s. 


Like said, Folklorico was made in the 1950’s, soon after the 1910 revolution. Some songs you might know now are actually songs that were inspired by the revolution, songs like La Cucaracha, Adelita, and La Valentina. 

Photo of Folklorico in the 1950’s

You have probably seen Folklorico before, at Knotts Berry Farm, Disneyland, some of the local San Pedro events like the Christmas parade, downtown Los Angeles, and more places all over.


Over the decades Folklorico has changed a lot, from the songs, the dresses, styles to the regions. The outfits from then were much more simple to put on compared to now, with the dresses having tons of layers to put on before it looks like a traditional ballet Folklorico dress. There are now over 30 regions now with different dress styles and movements.


With all the different regions, that means different outfits. All the different outfits can look way different than each other. Like the Jalisco dress, for the ladies the whole dress has a base color but the skirt and the top has different colors, it starts off with one skirt which ties around your waist with the top that you put over the skirt (which goes for almost all the dresses). For the men they wear Charro suits that go with a hat, a Charro hat. As well as many other outfits some include props that you dance with for certain songs, like Tamaulipas, they use a glass bottle that goes on top of the dancers head while they dance, Nayarit, the men use machetes while they dance and interpret them into some of the dances.


Local dance coach, Karen Ruan states what inspired her to start dancing, “I have always loved to dance and watch music videos as a child. It inspired me to create choreography of my own and explore the world of dance. I was given the opportunity to teach dance classes at the City of Carson and took the chance of making my dream a reality.” she also says that the thing she loves about Folklorico, “One thing I love about Folklorico is that there are so many regions and styles to learn from each state of Mexico. None are the same, but they share similarities in steps.”


Stores and places all over have specific stuff for ballet Folklorico needs such as dresses, shoes, headpieces, etc. In downtown Los Angeles, Olvera street there are various stores that sell Folklorico dresses, vendors that carry on Mexican culture and traditions, historic sights and buildings, and restaurants with delicious food, there’s a variety of cool places to check out there. Olverita’s Village, a family owned store on Olvera street sells Folklorico and mariachi group dresses, suits, shoes, and folk arts/crafts. This store has been running for more than 25 years and hopefully many more. 

Olverita’s Village store owner, Maria Medina


In the end, Folklorico is a beautiful art, and tradition. Although it has changed, it brought people together. Something that is so special to some people, whether if you dance, or if you watch. Its a beautiful thing that is shared.