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Campus Communications
Laura Dahl, Director
P.O. Box 430, Goodwell, Oklahoma 73939
Phone: 580-349-1354 * Fax: 580-349-1350


Dancers perform a traditional Maypole dance, a common dance from the Yucatan region.

The youth enjoyed strutting their stuff during the Salsa number. -Campus Communications Photos

**For Immediate Release**
OPSU Celebrates Hispanic Culture

-released by OPSU Campus Communications 07-20-05
by Laura Dahl

Goodwell, OK - Hughes Strong Auditorium on the campus of Oklahoma Panhandle State University was the setting for an outstanding dance performance by youth participating in the Ballet Folklórico and Hispanic Culture at Panhandle workshop last week. The showcase of Ballet Folklórico and Salsa included dances from three areas of Mexico plus a Latin American Salsa.

The first number from the Yucatan area featured an Angaripola, a dance revolving around a pig's head mounted on a pole. Then, the students executed a Maypole dance with intricate steps that weaved the colorful ribbons around the pole. The dancers wore traditional white cotton embroidered clothing, and finished the Yucatan set with a traditional "Diana," or morning call.

The dances from Guerrero incorporated a number of different animals in the dances, and the crowd erupted in cheers as the dancers imitated bulls, dogs, buzzards and iguanas. Dancing the traditional Chihuahuan numbers, the performers maintained upright bodies while marking steps with the bottom of their feet. The polka-flavored dances had the audience clapping enthusiastically to the beat.

The dancers donned dramatic black costumes for the Salsa dance, and began with the males and females dancing separately in groups, showing off their moves. The dancers then moved together and danced as couples, displaying the traditional Salsa turns, dips and sweeps.

The workshop was led by Alex and Mary Palencia from Dallas, Texas, who have more than 25 years of experience as dancers, instructors, choreographers and directors. Mexico 2000 Ballet Folklorico Dance Companies have been performing for many cultural and private events and have presented more than 400 performances in 5 years. Mexico 2000 has competed in Folklorico Dance Festivals in Dallas, Viva Aztlan in Lubbock and Bucaneers Days in Corpus Christi, winning more than 100 trophies. This year they will be competing in the National Folkloric Finals in Los Angeles.

Mirna Ramírez instructed and choreographed the Salsa dance, and has been dancing for over 15 years. She has an Associate's Degree and is pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Arts. Teri Mora of Guymon coordinated the workshop, and many of the students who participated are members of Alma Folklórica, a traditional Mexican dance group directed by Mora.

For the second consecutive year, the Oklahoma Arts Council has provided a generous grant for this cultural educational opportunity. The five day workshop offered participants not only dance lessons, but also instruction in Mexican culture and arts. The youth displayed the fruits of their labor in the lobby, which included Eyes of God and paintings depicting Pre-Colombian designs. The students also danced against a backdrop they had created, and made piñatas. An anonymous donor in Guymon, Oklahoma also made a significant contribution to the workshop.

Following the performance, family and friends joined the dancers and instructors for a reception and enjoyed traditional Mexican finger food and chips and salsa provided by Guymon restaurants including Acapulco, Caktus Jack's and the Seafood and Taco Shop.

Following is a list of the performers:

Name School
Claudia Aguirre Guymon Junior High
Leo Amador Guymon High School
Nancy Arroyo Guymon High School
Ulises Caba Guymon High School
Karina Chavez Guymon High School
Mike Chavez Guymon High School
Linda Dang Guymon High School
Lisa Dang Guymon Junior High
Miguel Esquivel Guymon High School
Mayte Flores Guymon Junior High
Daniel Guadián Guymon Junior High
José Jáuregui Guymon High School
Yanet Medina Guymon High School
Eddy Mesta Guymon High School
Elizabeth Montelongo Guymon Junior High
Alfredo Muñiz Guymon Junior High
Jasmín Vega Goodwell Junior High
Jesús Vega Goodwell High School

OPSU applauds the students for their hard work, and thanks them for providing an outstanding performance!





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