TCU pupil preserves traditions and Mexican roots by means of dance

TCU pupil preserves traditions and Mexican roots by means of dance

Claudia Tiffany Rodriguez, 21, showcases her ardour for ballet folklorico, historical past, artwork and sweetness with each efficiency.

Rodriguez, a Texas Christian College theater main, started dancing ballet folklorico when she was 5 years outdated. Since then, she’s traveled from one dance firm to a different, metropolis to metropolis and from maestro to maestro, or instructor to instructor.

“My mission in life is share the artwork and great thing about folklore as a result of lots of people see folklore at Cinco de Mayo festivals or Dia de los Muertos, however in actuality, folklore again in Mexico, you see it in every single place,” Rodriguez mentioned. “It actually means ‘dances of the individuals.’”


Claudia Tiffany Rodriguez


Claudia Tiffany Rodriguez performs together with her ballet folklorico classmates on Could 30, 2010.

Rodriguez has studied underneath Amalia Viviana Basanta Hernández, the daughter of one among Mexico’s world-renowned ballet folklorico choreographer Amalia Hernández. The TCU pupil’s curiosity extends past the stage, nevertheless.

“After I share it with household or mates, they’re like, ‘Oh, I simply thought you had been dancing simply to bop and I didn’t know there was an precise that means to it.’ But it surely’s big on meanings,” Rodriguez mentioned. “It’s fairly cool as a result of I’m studying alone and I’m being truly suggested by an precise dance teacher.”

Rodriguez started her journey at age 5, dancing at La Gran Plaza’s Ballet Folklorico Azteca de Fort Price, then at Holy Identify of Jesus Catholic Church’s now-defunct ballet folklorico program from 7 to 10 years outdated. After her mother turned pregnant, she took a two 12 months hiatus.

She returned to the artwork type at 12 with dance firm Ballet Folklorico Mexico Lindo in Northside. Now, she is an unbiased dancer — one thing she takes nice satisfaction in.

Claudia Tiffany Rodriguez.JPG

Claudia Tiffany Rodriguez


Claudia Tiffany Rodriguez performs together with her ballet folklorico teammates Could 23, 2010.

“You see your individual private progress as a result of based mostly on my experiences, I’m like, ‘OK, if this didn’t work, how can I alter that? Or how can I make it higher for college students as nicely?’” Rodriguez mentioned. “Rising up I didn’t actually know the historical past. I didn’t truly know the historical past with regards to folklorico. Being alone has helped me be extra conscious of myself.”

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Claudia Tiffany Rodriguez


Claudia Tiffany Rodriguez poses together with her ballet folklorico classmates after a efficiency on Could 23, 2010.

The dependency on a group, she mentioned, doesn’t attraction to her anymore. Now, she takes her time researching kinds, areas and the vestuarios of every area independently. At TCU, she has taken style courses, stitching courses and music courses to have the ability to hone her craft.

“We additionally need to know easy methods to train music and musicality. Relating to folklorico, there’s the costumes. So I’m taking an introduction to costume design class. I’m studying easy methods to truly sew,” Rodriguez mentioned. “I wish to study each side. It’s as a result of I’m a complete group in a single.”

At the moment at TCU, the dance division doesn’t provide any specialised programs on ballet folklorico, Rodriguez mentioned, however she desires to alter that. Rodriguez spends hours wanting by means of a duplicate of Trajes de Danza Mexicana by Rafael Zamarripa Castañeda and Xóchitl Medina Ortiz, a e book describing all of the wardrobe and vestuario meanings, which was given to her by a instructor who obtained a duplicate from the authors themselves.

She plans to check for a grasp’s diploma in ballet folklorico and earn a license to show from Guerrero, Mexico, on the Escuela Superior de Danza Folklorica Zitlalkiahuitl — she travels to Mexico for 3 weeks each summer season and after 4 years, she may have earned her license.

The one college to supply ballet folklorico in Texas is the College of Texas at Rio Grande Valley — it’s a 32-student group. Rodriguez hopes to alter that. First, by advocating for school programs in Fort Price after which, by advocating for it to turn out to be a significant.

“I’m pursuing this as a profession. This isn’t only a passion to me,” Rodriguez mentioned. “I wish to do that professionally and study every thing about it.”

Rodriguez’s mom, Claudia Villareal, mentioned she used to bop ballet folklorico in Monterrey, Mexico, when she was in major college, however by no means thought it could possibly be what it’s immediately.

“She is doing what I didn’t do as a younger lady,” Villareal mentioned in Spanish. “I used to bop for small festivities, however by means of her I noticed how a lot ballet folklorico has grown. You possibly can go to college for it now. When she was younger, there have been very restricted alternatives.”

Villareal is pleased with her daughter’s dedication to the artwork. It’s been an enormous inspiration for her. She desires to make it a profession, she mentioned.

“Claudia desires to study her roots, and I sit right here stunned as a result of she has by no means even lived in Mexico however she carries that satisfaction in her roots right here in the USA,” Villareal mentioned. “It’s such an thrilling factor.”

Moreover, Villareal emphasised how troublesome the journey shall be for her daughter to open doorways to ballet folklorico in Fort Price, however not inconceivable.

Rodriguez’s father Jose Rodriguez, a cupboard maker, tasked himself with aiding his daughter with every thing. He takes her to gigs, pays for vestuarios and helps her in every thing.

“It’s been very heavy to maintain with it typically. Taking her to locations to carry out, paying for clothes and every thing. She does it for the love of the artwork,” Jose Rodriguez mentioned in Spanish. “It’s not simple, however I’d do something for my daughters.”

At dwelling, Rodriguez sleeps on a small futon — in her room, she has a small stage the place she practices her dances, her mother and father mentioned.

“She doesn’t need a mattress. She desires a stage,” Villareal mentioned. “It’s such a pleasure seeing her progress.”

Villareal mentioned that in the end she desires her daughter to be comfortable and in a subject that she’s obsessed with and never a profession she shall be depressing in.

“I need her to make all her desires come true. It has value her rather a lot and due to God, each time we see her carry out she is healthier and higher,” Jose Rodriguez mentioned.

Claudia Tiffany Rodriguez performance.JPG

Claudia Tiffany Rodriguez


Claudia Tiffany Rodriguez ends a efficiency for a crowd at Sundance Sq. Plaza.

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the group engagement journalist on the Fort Price Report. Contact him by e-mail or by way of Twitter. On the Fort Price Report, information choices are made independently of our board members and monetary supporters. Learn extra about our editorial independence coverage right here.

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