El Jarabe Tapatio – Mexican Hat Dance

Laura Meraz Rafin from Mexico

This dance is characteristic and representative of Mexico. It symbolized the man’s courtship of the woman who in the beginning rejects him, but then accepts him.

The woman’s full, brightly colored skirt is decorated with flashy ribbons and lace. The man’s costume is a traditional “charro suit” that consists of pants and a vest or jacket, trimmed with silver buttons like artificial money.

This dance is characterized by strong tapping and stamplng.

The dance symbolizes the man’s courtship of the woman who in the beginning rejects him but then accepts him.

El Jarabe Tapatio, a courting dance, has been popular since the “periodo virreal” of Mexican history, and Felipa Lopez in Guadalajara choreographed the steps which are performed today.

The dance is distinguished by strong tapping and stamplng of the feet. Previously the men’s and women’s steps were different. The woman’s steps were feminine, and the man’s were vigorous; but today the couple perform the same steps.

The dance is characteristic and representative of Mexico and symbolizes the man’s courtship of the woman, who in the beginning rejects him, but then accepts him.

Originally the female dancer wore a typical “China Poblana” dress (a dress of the female servant in Puebla) and the male dancer wore a simple “charro” suit (a cowboy suit), but this costume varies.

When we do the dance, the woman wears a ribboned dress that consists of a skirt and a blouse. The full skirt is ruffled and decorated with brightly-colored ribbons and lace, and it moves spectacularly when she dances.

The three-quarter sleeved, high-necked blouse is decorated in the front and back with ribbons and lace in a “V” form, like a shawl.

A cloth braid the same color as the dancer’s natural hair and decorated with ribbons the same color as the dress is placed over her hair.

The man’s costume is a black “charro suit” that consists of pants, a vest or jacket, and a hat. The pants are decorated with silver buttons like artificial pieces of money, which show off the movement of the feet.

The cuffs and breasts of the jacket are decorated in the same way. The hat, a large sombrero the same color as the suit, is decorated the same way.

If you like Mexican traditions, you should take a quick look at La Cuerda – a Popular Mexican Game.

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