Friday, August 18, 2006

Cardio Azteca

That's my nickname for Thursday evening practices with the Danza Azteca group I joined.

I'd been looking for a danza group near me for so long, and as life always does, things worked out perfectly for me.

A young couple decided that they wanted to help heal the community through danza, so they brought the drum outside, and let it call those who were ready to hear it. It just happened that my good friend lives across the street and she called me immediately.

Danza Azteca is sacred dance, strenuous, and filled with references to nature, dieties, and history. Each dance tells a story or gives honor. It has been an incredible experience for both me and my daughter. She hops around the circle for a while, shakes a sonaja, then leaves to play with her little friends, but I try to stick it out. We dance for about an hour then we spend the next hour telling stories, learning nahuatl, and sharing what's on our minds. (That's called palabra, or word.)

My knees can't do the acrobatics and lunges known to danza Azteca, but my feet keep the best rhythm they can, my corazon is in the right place, and my daughter is learning about her culture that books could never capture.

I found a clip of some danza on It's actually a stage performance, a real danza ceremonia is performed in a big circle outside. But it can give you an idea if you're unfamiliar.

Here are some cool links if you want to read up more on la cultura Azteca and how it lives on today:
Mexicayotl Cultural Center
Learn Nahuatl
Danza Terms

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