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Why Do Mexicans Love Dancing So Much?
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Dear Mexican: My fiancé is trying to learn Spanish so he can speak to my grandmother when we get married next month. Lately, he’s been listening to CNN en Español to get an ear for the language. A couple of days ago, he told me that, after several weeks of seeing the channel, he noticed that there are ALWAYS chickens clucking in the background of the commercials. He wants to know, “What’s up with the chickens?” and “Is worshipping chickens a Mexican thing?”

Madre Hen

Dear Gabacho: Dear Wabette: Does your gabacho not speak English, either? Can’t he ask the Mexican a question on his own? Not only that, but your gabacho is either a liar or mistakenly tuned into the Rural Farm Network for his Spanish lessons. I see CNN en Español and have never once heard chicken clucks during a commercial. In fact, the only time I can recall hearing chickens in the background of any program is when gabacho talk show hosts rant about Mexicans. That sound clip cliché isn’t used exclusively for Mexicans, though: entertainers have associated chickens with the poor since the days of vaudeville, and even famed reporter Borat Sagdiyev unleashed a chicken on unsuspecting New Yorkers in his recent documentary to hilarious results. As for the chicken-worship question, your gabacho is wrong again: the Mexican reverence toward gallus domesticus is reserved for the gallo giro, the fighting cock. Rural Mexicans treat their hens as they treat their women: as purveyors of breasts, eggs and little else.

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Not long ago, I attended a Los Tigres del Norte concert at a small hall with no dance floor. The people attending were supposed to sit down and enjoy the music. Five minutes into the music, these jumping beans started dancing in the aisle. Within minutes, half of the attendees were going up and down the aisles dancing to the music. It’s not the first time I’ve seen Mexicans create improvised dance floors. Why do Mexicans love dancing so much?

Lambada Louie

Dear Gabacho: Anyone who needs to ask why people dance to Los Tigres del Norte—the norteño supergroup that combines traditional polka beats with socially conscious lyrics to create something that’s part Clash, part Lawrence Welk and puro mexicano—has no soul or is a gabacho. How can you not sway to their metronomic bass, their lush accordion trills, their canned sound effects, member Hernán Hernández’s mexcelente Mexi-mullet? Mexican music is among the most danceable outside Brazil because its practitioners understand that nalga-shaking stirs humanity into the realm of ecstasy. Almost all the genres that constitute Mexican popular music—the aforementioned norteño, the brass-band strut of banda sinaloense, son jarocho’s twinkling harps and guitars, even the dark riffs of Mexican heavy metal—put the focus on rhythms rather than lyrics (the exception is ranchera, the domain of drunkards and macho pussy men).

But dancing for Mexicans is more than a mere physical act. Every hallmark moment in Mexican society centers on dances—weddings, baptisms, informal gatherings, birthdays, anniversaries. More noteworthy are the dances held by hometown benefit associations that raise billions of dollars for the rebuilding of villages in Mexico. Tellingly, Mexican society does not consider girls and boys to be women or men until they begin to dance. Once they’re eligible to dance, Mexicans are eligible to take care of their community, too. Mexicans know that dancing solidifies trust, creates community, repairs the injured civic and personal soul. Besides, it’s a great way for Mexican adolescents to grope each other in a parent-approved environment.

 

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  1. Dancegenes

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  2. An ex of mine won a trip to San Antonio, Texas in the late 1990′s because he entered a sweepstakes whilst getting his brakes changed. Whilst in San Antonio, I was the navigator/guide. I winged it! We ended up in a Mexican neighborhood, I disremember how. At a street market we dined on delicious roast turkey legs and corn. In one of the stalls, there was a DJ playing music and there were many Mexicans dancing to the beats. “Let’s go dance”, I told my ex. “I don’t think we can”, he replied, tentatively. He was a Black/white mix a la Obama and I am a (mostly) white person, as per a DNA test.

    “Nonsense,” I said, and went over to the dancers and began to merge in. Despite our color (he was darker, I was lighter) and height differences (he was 6 inches taller I was 4) we danced along with the Mexicans and I will remember that experience as one of my all time most beautiful and pleasurable. None of the Mexicans dancers paid us the slightest of heed though we stood out like sore thumbs. Talk about tolerance!

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    • Replies: @some random guy
    You're just so damned virtuous and you signal it beautifully.
  3. @Michelle
    An ex of mine won a trip to San Antonio, Texas in the late 1990's because he entered a sweepstakes whilst getting his brakes changed. Whilst in San Antonio, I was the navigator/guide. I winged it! We ended up in a Mexican neighborhood, I disremember how. At a street market we dined on delicious roast turkey legs and corn. In one of the stalls, there was a DJ playing music and there were many Mexicans dancing to the beats. "Let's go dance", I told my ex. "I don't think we can", he replied, tentatively. He was a Black/white mix a la Obama and I am a (mostly) white person, as per a DNA test.

    "Nonsense," I said, and went over to the dancers and began to merge in. Despite our color (he was darker, I was lighter) and height differences (he was 6 inches taller I was 4) we danced along with the Mexicans and I will remember that experience as one of my all time most beautiful and pleasurable. None of the Mexicans dancers paid us the slightest of heed though we stood out like sore thumbs. Talk about tolerance!

    You’re just so damned virtuous and you signal it beautifully.

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  4. Why didn’t somebody ask: Why do Mexicans get drunk so much?

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    • Replies: @Jim Bob Lassiter
    "Why didn’t somebody ask: Why do Mexicans get drunk so much?"

    Prolly 'cause the answer the answer is so axiomatically simple:

    They like yeast piss.
  5. @MarkinLA
    Why didn't somebody ask: Why do Mexicans get drunk so much?

    “Why didn’t somebody ask: Why do Mexicans get drunk so much?”

    Prolly ’cause the answer the answer is so axiomatically simple:

    They like yeast piss.

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  6. People of Color are the future

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    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    If that is the case than so is a return to the stone age.
  7. Why Do Mexicans Love Dancing So Much?

    They eat all those hot peppers and must move around to sweat it off.

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  8. Turkey legs are a Southern US redneck food. Not too common at supper tables, whilst quite common at county fairs.

    Interesting you had no idea and can’t tell us anything about the music you supposedly danced to.

    (is Goose now adding faking comments????)

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    • Replies: @Michelle
    Mexicans have been eating turkey for thousands of years, Pepe. Rednecks, not so much.
  9. @Pepe
    Turkey legs are a Southern US redneck food. Not too common at supper tables, whilst quite common at county fairs.

    Interesting you had no idea and can't tell us anything about the music you supposedly danced to.

    (is Goose now adding faking comments????)

    Mexicans have been eating turkey for thousands of years, Pepe. Rednecks, not so much.

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    • Replies: @Pat Boyle
    Mexican's preferred meat for thousands of years was - other Mexicans. There were almost no domesticated animals anywhere in the New World. That's odd because New World peoples domesticate many plants - including corn and potatoes.
  10. @Michelle
    Mexicans have been eating turkey for thousands of years, Pepe. Rednecks, not so much.

    Mexican’s preferred meat for thousands of years was – other Mexicans. There were almost no domesticated animals anywhere in the New World. That’s odd because New World peoples domesticate many plants – including corn and potatoes.

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  11. Better they love song and dance than jihad. That’s the trouble with Muslims. If there were more song and dance in the Muslim culture, perhaps they wouldn’t have such a problem with jihad.

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