A Group Of Women In Oaxaca, Mexico Are Empowering Women To Feel Proud Of Their African Roots Through Dance

Afro-Mexicans: Dancing Their Way Back To Their Roots

These young Afro-Mexican women are dancing to reconnect with their roots. With no formal training, they’ve turned to YouTube to learn the steps.

Posted by AJ+ on Sunday, December 4, 2016

A group of women in Oaxaca, Mexico are driving a movement to encourage other Afro-Mexicans to feel proud of their roots.

And they’re doing this through dance.

The Internet plays a huge part of this movement. After researching online and discovering that most Afro-Mexicans descend from the northeast region of Africa, they decided they would only focus on dances that come from that part of the continent. And as for how they’re learning the traditional dances? YouTube.

Their efforts are inspiring many to feel a sense of pride, but this group is also impacting the Mexican Census. Afro-Mexican was never an option in the Mexican Census until 2015. That year, 1.4 million were mexicanos identified as Afro-Mexicans.

“We want equal rights and we want to be proud of being black and be able to share that pride,” said Anai Herrera, a lead of the Obatala Afro-Mexican dance group.

READ: @blaxicansofla Gets an Intimate Portrayal of What It’s Like Growing Up Black & Mexican

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This Little Girl’s Professional Dance Moves For Cardi B’s ‘I Like It’ Will Blow Your Trap Loving Bum Away


This Little Girl’s Professional Dance Moves For Cardi B’s ‘I Like It’ Will Blow Your Trap Loving Bum Away

Ever since Cardi B dropped her hit ‘I Like It’ we have been simultaneously slayed to our core and stuck to our seats with anticipation for it’s accompanying music video. With life-giving videos like “Bartier Cardi” and “Be Careful” having already been delivered to us, we’re expecting nothing but pure hot gold from la chica de el Bronx. But, with the word still out on when the video will debut we’ve been on a hunt for videos to satiate our thirst in the meantime. In our quest, we came across a spectacular treasure trove of choreography videos made all over the world just for the song.

Check out these stunning ‘I Like It’ dance odes, that are tiding us over until Cardi’s official video drops.

South Korean studio 1 Million Dance serves los ultra movimientos

May J Lee is the lead choreography behind this South Korean-based dance studio. She’s the lead dancer in the first few moments of the dance routines and let me tell she RIPS it up. Try to keep us with this chica and her dance crew as they wipe the floor with your dropped jaw.

Brinn Nicole’s moves exude vibes from your family’s backyard parties

Okay, okay so the showy prima of your family might not be bringing as much power as the women in this video, but ya know she sure wish she could. Brinn Nicole Gooch is the Latina choreographer behind these moves created at the Millennium Dance Complex in Hollywood, CA. How these girls hit the floor with their heels and bounce back for incredible jump kicks is beyond me. These moves are on point, literally.

The little girl in this video sets the house on fire with her attitude and grooves.

All of the dancers in this video know how to hit it in this video but  Payton Ali is the little girl at the 4:11 mark you’ve gotta watch. She’s only 9 years old, but she could keep up the hustle of a tough salsa/trap routine better than most. Her dance moves were created by Guy Amir “Guy Groove,” but there’s no doubting the skill and push she puts into “I Like It” are all her.

This India-based dance troupe just got served la salsa

Alan Rinawma brought Cardi to Mizo Dance Camp, an academy based in Mizoram, India. These kids stun and shine throughout this interview video proving the dance scene in India is HOT. Where’s my pen y’all I’m signing up for a class.

This ATL-based dance studio couldn’t wait for a video so they made their own.

This dance group went all in on their love for this song. With shiny lights, high kicks and mad hair whips it’s obvious this crew invested more than just time and heart into Cardi B’s chart-topping hit. Not only did they go in 110% with their moves they also brought a production value that did not come to play.

This video brings all the pop and drop you forgot this song needed.

The pop lock and drop, the hustle, even the bend and snap can be spotted in this performance. These dancers maneuver the floor with ease and all at the tip of their toes. No doubt their hair whips and jump kicks will have you clicking the replay button to learn the best way to  dance to this song the next time you’re in the club.

This dance duo truly leans into the salsa component of  the song.

Ah, the classic dance steps your tías and mom have been trying to get you to master for the past 20 nochebuenas are present in full force in this video to put all your primas to shame. Brittany Cherry and her partner Paul Karmiryan bring the classic baile to Cardi’s trap hit with dances whirls that’ll have your head spinning.

Read: Cardi B Didn’t Do The Red Carpet At Last Night’s Latin Music Awards But She Slayed In Heels For The Show

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In New Jersey, Rosa Carhuallanqui Keeps Her Culture Alive By Teaching Children Peruvian Folkloric Dance

Fierce Boss Ladies

In New Jersey, Rosa Carhuallanqui Keeps Her Culture Alive By Teaching Children Peruvian Folkloric Dance

When Rosa Carhuallanqui imagines the day she was born, she pictures a party. In her childhood home in Huancayo, located in the highlands of Peru, her father was a musician who taught her how to dance. She says “naces bailando en mi pueblo,” you are born dancing in my town.

Carhuallanqui, 50, came to the United States 17 years ago, and her passion for dance traveled with her from South America to Clifton, New Jersey. In her neighboring town of Garfield, she opened Peru Inca Folk, a studio where she teaches children and adults Peruvian folkloric dance.

She noticed that first-generation children of Peruvian parents were losing touch with their heritage and felt a need to do something about it.

“There aren’t many after-school recreational programs in predominantly Latino neighborhoods of New Jersey, so I was looking to change that,” Carhuallanqui tells Fierce.

In her narrow studio decorated with photographs of Peruvian dancers, she teaches marinera, an elegant couple’s dance using handkerchiefs as props. She corrects her students’ footwork with her hands and offers them praises like “muy bien” (“very good”) as they attempt to imitate her swift steps.

Although she is of small stature, Carhuallanqui, dressed in workout leggings and a long-sleeve shirt, can be heard from all corners of the room. Her voice pounds louder than the booming music. Her long black hair is up in a high ponytail that sways from left to right as she demonstrates to the ladies of the class how to move their long colorful skirts while dancing.

(Courtesy of Rosa Carhuallanqui)

In her hometown of Huancayo, her father was the one who primarily raised her and her siblings. Although her dad only had an elementary level education, he made sure his children stayed in school.

“My father was the person who loved music,” she says, remembering her dad’s adoration of family parties. “He was so intense about dance and music in my home.”

At 20, Carhuallanqui enrolled in a dance school to learn Peruvian folkloric movements, while also finishing an anthropology degree at a nearby university. The dance school was in Lima, the capital, which was 12 hours away from her home by bus.

She tells me that women who traveled alone were vulnerable to abuse and theft because members of Sendero Luminoso, a militant group who terrorized small towns like hers in the ‘80s, boarded the buses.

“When I traveled to Lima to be a professional dancer, for me, it’s sometimes a sad moment,” she says, breaking eye contact. “Sometimes I don’t want to remember.”

She goes on, “I knew I had to leave the country if I wanted to make a career out of dancing.”

In 1997, she left with only a small suitcase and her 3-year-old daughter to start life in the U.S.

Rosita, as her students and their parents call her, teaches both children and adults with little to no experience. All of them are Peruvian or of some Peruvian heritage, the children of immigrants and adults who migrated themselves.

(Courtesy of Rosa Carhuallanqui)

Nearby, Paterson is the unofficial capital of the country’s Peruvian diaspora. She opened her studio in a suburb closeby after noticing young Peruvians were losing touch with their roots.

“Ideally what I want to do is expand our culture beyond the mainland, beyond our community. I want non-Peruvian Americans to learn about our culture,” she says.

That’s why Carhuallanqui also teaches elementary school students at a Clifton after-school program about Peruvian dance and instruments.

“Those students are non-Peruvian. I had to push for my program to make it into the after-school care curriculum,” she says.

But she has aspirations to do much more.

“My dream is to start a cultural center where children can learn Peruvian dances, instruments, singing, reading and arts. I want to invite other artists to come in and teach their craft, but I want to be able to pay them for their time so they feel better helping out,” she says. “A lot of these Peruvian artists work during the week doing unrelated jobs, but during the weekends they want to show their talents. They were successful artists in Peru, but the language barrier has stopped them from being artists in this country.”

(Courtesy of Rosa Carhuallanqui)

Carhullanqui is also looking for a bigger studio. On most Saturdays, as many as 20 students squeeze into the small Peru Inca Folk studio. For her, it’s not about the money but rather ensuring that the rich cultural traditions of her country aren’t lost on its progeny in the U.S.

“As an artist, I don’t like the pressure of business. I don’t want to be a money-making machine. I want this to be an art. The dancers have to feel the music, and I want to get my students there,” she said.

Read: A Group Of Women In Oaxaca, Mexico Are Empowering Women To Feel Proud Of Their African Roots Through Dance

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