Joyas Mestizas is an incredibly beautiful folk dance group dedicated to promoting Mexican culture throughout the Pacific Northwest. Not only do they perform at Fiestas Patrias and Hispanic Seafair, they offer classes at the Community Center in the South Park community, and encourage YOU to come learn.
At the Seattle Children’s Festival, families will be delighted by their showcasing of rich Mexican culture and tradition by way of dance, music and, of course, costuming!
Enjoy this brief Q&A with Joyas Mestizas (translated: Jewels Mestizas) and plan to enjoy their performance October 11 from 12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. in the Armory at Seattle Center.
What will audiences experience from you at the Seattle Children’s Festival?
We want our audiences to experience a connection to Mexican culture. We strive to accomplish that through the traditional dances we perform. Our dancers are of various age ranges and skill levels and love dancing and performing for audiences of all kinds. We promote the heritage and diversity of Mexico and hope that people leave our performance excited, maybe knowing a little bit more about Mexico than they did before.
How did you get started in this type of performance?
From its formation in 1988, the main mission of Joyas Mestizas is to promote the rich cultural heritage and diversity of Mexico. From the beginning it became clear that Joyas Mestizas dancers delighted audiences with their colorful performances that celebrate Mexican cultural traditions. As a result, the group has been performing throughout the years at the many events held throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Do you have a performance moment, or a moment connected to your work that you are most proud of? If so, what is it?
In 2009, our group was invited to participate in Seattle Theater Groups’ production “Dance This” at The Paramount Theatre. We were extremely nervous and excited. It would be the first time that our group participated in this type of production and we had no idea what to expect. The whole experience was incredible. Our dancers had the opportunity to learn and collaborate with a multitude of other experienced artist and dancers. I think one of the highlights of this production is how incredible dancers feel when they get to see their culture shared on such a beautiful stage along side so many other talented groups. These dancers are representing their families, their culture, their history, so when they are up on that stage dancing their hearts out, it was like all their family and friends were on that stage with them.
What is your connection to Northwest Folklife?
The majority of Joyas Mestizas members were born in the Puget Sound area. Therefore, they have a strong connection to the Pacific Northwest and, of course, the activities that are held throughout the year such as the Northwest Folklife. When the Seattle Center had its WinterFest Festivals, Joyas Mestizas was a regular at these events.
What does Folklife mean to you?
Participating in Folklife gives our group members an opportunity to experience the surrounding community and to make connections with various groups. Our dance members get the opportunity to participate in a production that instills a sense of pride in them and in their culture.
What’s next for you after the Seattle Children’s Festival?
Continue performing at this event; continue to make connections and to provide the community with the unique cultural experience.
Connect with Joyas Mestizas on Facebook here!