It's Hispanic Heritage Month which means celebrating the many regions of Latin America and their differences in apparel, food, music, and also dancing.

What Is It?

For those that don't know what ballet folklorico is it's the general term used to describe all the different dances from Latin America done by a group of people. The most common type of ballet folklorico is from Jalisco and involves the Mariachi music with women wearing those big colorful dresses and men in charro trajes (suits). While this is the most popular region known there a lot of other regional dances that many ballet folklorico groups try to showcase. Groups like Ballet Folklorico Fiesta del Sol.

¡Baila Este Baile!

Jeri Padilla is the owner and instructor of Ballet Folklorico Fiesta del Sol Lubbock, which she founded back in 2000. Jeri puts a lot of the dances for the groups together herself, with input from the dance group, and has been dancing ballet folklorico for 34 years. Jeri uses dancing to connect with her students and audiences to share the rich, vibrant, and unique cultures of Latin America. Jeri doesn't do all of this on her own as her mother, Delia Ochoa, is also the sole seamstress for the entire folklorico group and even though they don't have any sponsors they work hard to get the supplies they need for costumes.

The group is a non-profit organization that performs at many events across the Lubbock area such as the Pancake Festival, jamaicas, and for many nursing homes. If the group does receive any money it goes directly back to the group to help pay for costume supplies, practice space, or even food for the kids at the jamaicas. Fiesta del Sol has entered the Viva Aztlan competition and placed a few times but Jeri does state that while it was fun she prefers to just dance without competing.

How to Join

Fiesta del Sol does allow almost anyone of any age to join with their youngest ages starting at 6-years-old and that group is taught by Jena Ochoa and Orianna Perez. While everyone is welcome to join the group they are currently in need of more male dancers to join the group performances. It is just $10 to join and that doesn't include any extra money that might be needed for your shoes or costume extras but you can call Jeri Padilla at 806-782-6010 for any questions or if you want to become a sponsor. Anyone interested is urged to check out a practice or visit the Fiesta del Sol can be found on their social media for videos of past performances. Buen provecho.

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