Coming from Northern Belize, I am more than familiar with the traditional dances of the Mestizo. I started dancing at the age of two, learning basic zapateado skills. Of course at that age I didn’t understand much of what I was doing, but as I grew older I started to understand the meaning of each dance and appreciated them even more. Moving to San Pedro meant I couldn’t continue dancing, (no cultural dance classes available… maybe I should offer some) but I still hold the memories of the dances close to my heart (and trust me I still remember all the dance steps I learned).Zapateado-2
One of the first dances I ever learnt (and one that was a pain to learn), Las Mujeres Que Se Pintan. This dance is a Jarana (Waltz) originally from the Yucantan Penisula, Mexico. The dance is a comedy about women that get all dressed up to go out and flirt with guys. The steps are pretty easy, it’s a six step dance with few upper body movements.Zapateado-5
The first time I performed this dance was back in 2008 at the Mexican Embassy in Belize City for Mexico’s Independence Eve celebrations. I recall being realy nervous, but after a pep talk from our instructor (Nina) I was ready to go. Of course dancing comes with the perks of getting dressed up in your traditional huipil. Zapateado-4For this particular dance, heavy make-up is a most (I mean bright red lipstick, pancaked rouge, the works!). Your hair is done in a tight bun adorned with red flowers. And you are draped in extravagant jewelry (as any lady going out to flirt would).Zapateado-3
So if you ever get the chance to see a performance of Las Mujeres Que Se Pintan have a little laugh and enjoy the performance!

Topics covered in this article: , , , ,

About the Author: Janelle Cowo

Janelle loves traveling and experiencing new cultures both within and across the border of Belize. She particularly enjoys history and is an avid Science Fiction, Fantasy and Romance reader. What she lacks in stature, Janelle has (and even surpasses) in spirit for adventure. She is willing to try pretty much anything, from daring jumps to new eats. She loves sharing her adventures with her daughter Inori, hoping to encourage her to lead an adventurous life and enjoy the beauty of the world around her. Janelle lives her life according to Mae West quote “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

Read Janelle's other articles