How to dance el jarabe tapatio

The Mexican Hat Dance - Jarabe Tapatio

The jarabe Tapatío is a Mexican dance, often called the national dance of Mexico.

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The jarabe Tapatío is a Mexican folk dance, often called the national dance of Mexico, and better known internationally as the Mexican hat dance. Despite its rather innocent steps by today’s standards (dancers do not touch one another), early 19th century colonial authorities found the moves too sexually suggestive and even challenging to Spanish rule.

They banned the dance, inspiring popular appreciation for the Jarabe Tapatío in Mexico, as the ban added an element of rebellious expression to it and provided an opportunity for dancers eager to make a statement on social freedom and political independence a chance to subtly defy the colonizers.

Mexican independence in 1821 brought a new sense of cultural awareness, and the popularity of jarabe dances spread even more, along with national identity. Although other varieties of jarabe exist including jarabe de Jalisco, jarabe de atole and jarebe Moreliano, the Tapatío version, which originated in Guadalajara, is the most famous.The dance celebrates romantic courtship. It is usually performed by a man and a woman, where the man appears to invite his partner into a world of intimate affection. At first, the woman rejects her partner’s advances, but warms up to his persistence as the two dance on, only to reject him again when her positive signals inspire excessive giddiness in her suitor.


During the dance, the man’s sombrero is placed on the ground, and after lively hopping, sliding and kicking around the sombrero, the woman bends to pick up the hat, at which point the man kicks his leg over her head. Needless to say, timing and careful choreography are important. Then the performance closes when she holds the hat up and both dancers’ faces disappear behind it, leaving captivated audiences to assume that the two are finally confirming mutual romantic interest and sealing it with a kiss.


The Mexican hat dance and the dancer’s clothing have become nationally and internationally recognizable symbols of Mexican heritage. Women wear a wide, colorfully decorated skirt and blouse outfit, the style of which is called China Poblana. The origin of the name and style of the skirt has inspired curious legends including that of a beautiful 17th century princess from India named Mirra who was kidnapped, taken to the Philippines, and sent to Mexico to be sold there as a slave. Her exotic and vibrant clothing left such an impression, that woman in Mexico began copying the style and adapting and embellishing it to popular indigenous tastes.

Men traditionally wear a black suit with metallic embroidery called a charro. The man’s pant legs are lined with silver buttons that highlight his flashy kick and stamp moves. The origin of the name of the dance itself has also stirred some controversy. The Arabic word Xarab means mixture of herbs. The name may refer to the mix of influences that created the dance style, which includes waltz, polka, and indigenous American dances.


The music that accompanies the dance may be performed by mariachi bands or other types of string instrument groups. Originally composed by Jesus Gonzalez Rubio in 1924, the song increases its tempo as the steps and story line of the dance intensify.The jarabe Tapatío dance is a Mexican folk art that recalls the sense of national identity fostered by post revolutionary efforts to unify and celebrate its traditions and culture. The charm and grace of the dance along with the vivid color of its clothing, which provides viewers with a swirling collage of vibrancy and shine, have captured the hearts of folk art lovers in Mexico and around the world.



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“The Mexican Hat Dance” is the sobriquet given to this Central American dance style known as Jarabe Tapatio. This ‘hat dance’ is said to have originated from Mexico, and is also popular in countries such as Cuba, Peru, and Dominica Republic.

Apparently, this dance was initially performed by female couples only, so as to avoid direct confrontation with the church.

Over the years gradually this dance style has evolved into a “couple dance” that basically represents a courtship between the male and the female sex.

a. History/origin of the Jarabe Tapatio Dance:

According to the cultural history of Mexico, this dance was first discovered during the late 18th century. Initially, this dance was performed only by female couples so as to avoid direct confrontation with the church.

However, it was just before the “Mexican War of Independence” that males as well as females began performing this dance style.

Furthermore, it was in 1790 at the Coliseo Theatre located in Mexico City that this dance was performed publically for the first time.

Although this dance was banned for a period of time by religious groups and colonial authorities, it regained its popularity sooner rather than later.

It then maintained its popularity in Mexico City till about 1930. As of today though, according to music researcher Nicolas Puentes Macias, this dance form is almost extinct in the country.

In fact this dance as of today is said to have evolved into another form known as “Tonadilla”.

b. Costumes used in the Jarabe Tapatio Dance:

The costume used in this dance form varies according to the gender, and they are as follows:

For men:

The attire worn includes a traditional Mexican dress known as “Charro” which usually is decorated in “silver trim”.

For women:

The attire worn includes a traditional Mexican outfit known as “China Poblana” which consists of a blouse and skirt. Furthermore, this dress has been apparently named after a woman from India who came to Mexico to work as a servant during the early 19th century.

c. Music involved in the Jarabe Tapatio Dance:

The musical instruments generally used in this dance form include guitars, harps, and violins. Furthermore, the music for this dance is usually composed by the “Mariachi” bands.

d. Training availability and the technique involved in the Jarabe Tapatio Dance:

In terms of technique, in this dance the male performer attempts to seduce his female partner.

Furthermore, in response this attempt by the male is initially rejected by the female, but is eventually accepted only on further persuasion. In addition, this dance also involves body movements such as hopping, sliding, and kicking.

As for training centres/schools, there are not none available around the world since this “hat” dance has mainly been performed and taught only in Mexico (i.e. in grade schools).

e. Some of the Best Jarabe Tapatio Dance videos:

Jarabe Tapatío – Traditional Mexican DanceTradicional baile del Jarabe Tapatio
El Son de la Negra – Jarabe Tapatio – 50th Wedding Anniversary Dance Performance
El Son de La Negra/Guadalajara

Views: 850


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8 most popular dances and nayarit dances / General culture | Thpanorama

Some of the dances and dances typical of Nayarit are the rooster dance, komikat, bull dance, devil dance or negritos dance.

The main influence of dance in Nayarit comes from the state of Jalisco in a form of dance known as Jarabe Tapatio. This later happened to Jarabe Nayarita.

Thanks to the work of Jaime Buentello and Arnulfo Andrade, in the last century a classification of the various dances or sons of which they are composed was created..

Some of the main ones are El Coamecate, El Diablo, Los Negritos, Los Bules and El Gallito.

You may also be interested in Nayarit traditions and customs.

Nayarit Syrup

El Jarabe is a Cuban rhythm, a mixture of Spanish and local culture, which represents the situation in a peculiar way. Usually performed by a couple on a small platform; This dance represents the classic rodeo from rooster to hen.


The Nayarite dances that dance with the machete are known as sonor potorricos, and in all of them the man demonstrates his skill with the machete, as they are supposed to be his tool of work and his weapon of personal defense..

This is a mestizo dance that seeks to contrast the rudeness of the man with the machete and the delicacy and coquetry of the woman.


This is a Spanish-style dance very typical of the conquest and can be seen in the waves and the way the woman is dressed; in the case of men, the suit is more of a local type, with an urbanized blanket over a suit shirt.

El Gallito dance

The El Galito dance has gained relevance outside of Nayarit. This dance has an allegorical meaning in that it represents the courtship of a man and a woman through the analogy of a rooster and a hen.

In this dance, the man stomps in unison with the woman, and his attributes are extremely showy. The man wears a white jacket and an embroidered shirt, as well as attractive hats.

For women, the dress is equally charming with a satin base and wide skirt. Usually the blouse has bright colors.

The head is usually decorated with flowers. One of the most striking things about the dance is the movement that the rhythm gives to the skirt.

Finally, the use of the fan and the crucifixion of women signifies a strong Spanish influence and Catholicism. All this undoubtedly reveals a characteristically mestizo expression.

The sound of El Coamecate

The city of the state of Nayarit is named with the same name. Probably, the appearance of this, in particular, occurred in the indicated area. The rhythm of the dance usually has more leisurely nuances.

Again, scenes from everyday life or courtship between men and women are presented here.

The size of this procession is usually allegorical, as in the case of El Galito, and imitated through movements.


In this particular dance, the most characteristic is the use of a machete. This tool can have a touch of personal protection here, as well as a work tool.

In this dance the woman's attitude is seductive and this is shown in the taconeo and the pose in general.

There are usually doublings and blows. However, it should be borne in mind that the use of a machete as a choreographic element gives it a certain danger. It also involves the use of knives, in what is known as the "Floreo de Cuchillos".

Dance of Los Negritos

This dance somehow synthesizes the sounds of El Diablo and Bules. In addition, there is an implicit danger due to the use of a machete in a form of beating.

  1. Source, J. d. (2005). Nayarit Encyclopedic Dictionary. List Publishing House.
  2. Múzquiz, R. (1988). Dances and traditional dances. General Coordination of Social Benefits, Coordination of Cultural Promotion, General Secretariat, Division of Publications and Documentation, Mexican Institute of Social Security.
  3. Najera-Ramirez, O., Cantu, N. & Romero, B. (2009). Dancing Abroad: Dancing and Mexican Dancing. Illionis University.
  4. Pacheco Ladron de Guevara, L. S. (1990). Nayarit: Society, Economics, Politics and Culture. National Autonomous University of Mexico.
  5. Remolina T., Rubinstein B. and Suarez I. (2004). Mexican traditions. Mexico, D.F.: Selector.

JUST MEXICO - Our Texas - Russian Newspaper in Houston, Dallas, San-Antonio, Austin, Texas

Beginning at #423, 424, 425, 426, 427, 428, 429

If you pronounce "Mexico", then, as Peter Weil said, one of the three will almost certainly stand before the mental eye - pyramids, sombreros or tequila . .. however, most likely, both that, and another, and the third, even if the owner of this mental gaze has never been in Mexico, confuses the pyramids with the Egyptian ones, and what he drank, tequila, despite the label, can be called conditionally.

We will return to the pyramids, which have been leading for millennia with their inconsistency, later, but we will pay some attention to the other two whales of the Mexican image right now.

Everyone knows what a sombrero is. Without a hat with a brim, the image of a real Mexican macho, a farmhand on a plantation, a mariachi musician, a shepherd "charro" (cowboy) is impossible.

Someone will immediately remember the heroes of the funny movie "Three Amigos" or good old westerns.

Fashionistas associate with the collections of Moschino, Prada and Just Cavalli, where wide-brimmed hats successfully complement suits.

The Mexican hat inspired the entertainer Jean Paul Gaultier so much that he gave out a combination of transformed sombreros with evening suits. For some, this word is associated with decorating not the head, but the interior of the house in ethnic style. For football fans, these are hand-drawn mascots of the World Cups 1970 and 1986 by Juanito and Piquet. Even the metropolitan snobs then put on hats, like these two.

A vivid image is powerfully replicated all over the world - hot westerns, romantic films, original celebrities of all countries and peoples.

And, of course, it is exploited with might and main by the most popular Mexican actors and singers.

Sombreros were worn on the head of Pope Francis during his trip to Mexico.

If you don’t see sombreros so often today in metropolitan Mexico City or cultural Guadalajara (except for the market and tourist places where a dozen wide-brimmed hats flaunt at once on the firm head of the seller), then somewhere at the entrance to Tijuana and on the shores of the Gulf of California sombrero, really , with narrow fields, can be seen even in the legal, in the truest sense of the word, place - on the heads of the police. You look and immediately understand - here it is, the beauty and pride of Mexico.

And for any tourist, the sombrero is a symbol of fiesta and a relaxing holiday under palm trees with a glass of Margarita in hand or Tequila Sunrise.

All these images are true, because in the history of the main hat of Mexico there is the joy of the fiesta and the memory of distant Andalusia, the sweat of workers and the blood of the emperor, the spirit of revolutionaries and the love of a peasant boy, which created the famous dance with a jarabe tapatio hat.

Sombreros come in different shapes, colors and materials, but what they have in common is hand-made, for the poor and peasants - from straw, for noble citizens - from felt, felt and velvet, with rich embroidery. Shepherds wear sombrero vaquero, a cowboy version of the hat, with not very wide and turned up brim ("vaquero" is the Spanish name for shepherds, which comes from the completely prosaic word vaca - cow).

The object, which in our understanding has a clear association with Mexico, actually has Spanish roots. Even the word itself speaks of this - sombrero (Spanish) - a hat, sombra - a shadow. The Indians never had such an accessory. Spanish flat-topped sombreros arrived in the Americas in the 16th century and spread across it, evolving into Mexican sombreros with an elongated and rounded top. In a country with a generous sun, such a hat, which gives coolness, could not but take root. The classic in our understanding of the wide-brimmed sombrero in Mexico is called "sombrero-charro".

The progenitor of the Mexican hat most likely arrived with the Andalusians, but the people of Navarre claim that they invented the embroidered sombreros, similar to the hats of the Navarrean bullfighters. "Momentito! Salamanca stops them. “It was in our region that the word “charro” existed from time immemorial, denoting both a suit with a hat and its owner, a cattle breeder on horseback.” However, in the Mexican states, many still think that the sombrero-charro appeared in their country, falling from the sky on the heads of cattle breeders and farm laborers. But the rider on a horse is associated precisely with a person of noble Iberian blood, because for a long time the law forbade the Indians to sit on a horse.

Interestingly, today in Mexico the word "charro" is used to refer to both a wealthy cattle breeder and his hired worker. The main thing is to be on horseback and in the appropriate charro suit: riding pants, a neckerchief - not so much for beauty, but to protect the neck from gadfly bites, a cape or poncho and, of course, a sombrero that protects from the scorching sun or heavy rain.

Moreover, no one has ever been surprised even by a military general in such a uniform. Charros are always warriors, they participated in large and small wars, revolutions, coups, skirmishes with the Indians. In the special police corps created in 1861 by General Ignacio Zaragoza, the charro cattle breeder's suit was the official uniform.

Without a sombrero, it is impossible to imagine the national heroes, demonstrators or rebels of the Mexican Revolution who wore a sombrero constantly or at special moments in order to more clearly emphasize their belonging to Mexico and commitment to Mexican culture!
A wide-brimmed hat adorned the head of the leader Francesco (Pancho) Villa, the story of whose death formed the basis of the famous folk song "Cucaracha".

By the way, the lyrics of this song in Russian have nothing to do with the original version and are not a translation from Spanish at all. However, with some stretch, we can say that "Kukaracha" is the overseas sister of the Russian "Apple". These songs are similar in many ways - both are folk, comic, with primitive words, existing in many variants and spread during the revolution and the civil war, approximately in the same era. But, of course, revolutionary folklore took into account local realities.

So kukarachs (cockroaches) at the beginning of the 20th century were called government troops. Hence the following words (direct translation from Spanish): "Cockroach, cockroach, It can no longer run, Because it has no front legs." In the second verse, it turns out that he already has no hind legs, and in the third, a completely local flavor is added:

La cucaracha, la cucaracha
Ya no puede caminar
Porque no tiene, porque le falta
Marihuana que fumar.

"Cockroach, cockroach He can no longer walk, Because he has no marijuana to smoke." This is a direct nod to President Victoriano Huerta, a booze and marijuana lover who came to power as a result of the assassination of popular revolutionary President Francisco Madero.

Emiliano Zapata, leader of the Mexican Revolution against the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz in 1910, is a bright image of a sombrero-wearing revolutionary. vivir toda una vida arrodillado), which was repeated by Dolores Ibarruri during the Spanish Civil War.

In 1952 the film "Viva, Zapata!" (Viva Zapata!), which collected all sorts of prizes - from the Oscar for Anthony Quinn to the main acting prize at the Cannes Film Festival for Marlon Brando. It is clear that sombreros flaunted on the heads of magnificent actors!

Why are there revolutionaries, generals and presidents! Even the emperor of Mexico, Maximilian, wore a charro!

In 1863, the Austrian Archduke Maximilian von Habsburg received an offer to become Emperor of Mexico from the Mexican delegates who came to him in the Italian palace, and the French Emperor Napoleon III. Maximilian set a condition - first to hold a referendum-plebiscite in Mexico, torn by contradictions and war. In April 1864, after 6 million 400 thousand Mexicans (out of 8 million 600 thousand) voted for him, he officially announced his consent to accept the Mexican crown.

He was a noble and decent man, an educated European with chivalrous views, a holder of many orders, including Russian ones - St. Andrew the First-Called, St. Alexander Nevsky, the Order of the White Eagle, St. Anna and St. Stanislav of the 1st degree.

His three-year reign brought Mexico freedom of the press, amnesty for those who laid down their arms, compulsory secondary education, confirmation of the nationalization of church property, and the abolition of spice wages. A commission was created to study the needs of the indigenous population, the right to joint ownership of land was recognized for the Indian communities, and the peon laborers became full citizens of the empire. Faced with opposition from Republicans led by Benito Juarez, the emperor wrote a letter to Juarez proposing that they join forces in bringing the country out of the crisis. Maximilian failed to convince the Republicans to lay down their arms, especially since the conservative forces that invited him to take the throne were dissatisfied with the “liberal transformations”, and after the end of the Civil War, the United States began to actively assist the Juarez government on its territory.
In 1867, Napoleon III insisted that Maximilian leave with the French leaving Mexico, but the emperor refused to leave his supporters. Soon his army was surrounded near Querétaro and he himself was captured. Despite the requests of all European monarchs, US President Andrew Johnson, Giuseppe Garibaldi, Victor Hugo and many others, Juarez left the fate of Maximilian in the hands of a court-martial, which decided to prove its independence to foreigners by sentencing Maximilian to death.

The Emperor was wearing his unchanging sombrero charro when he was shot on a summer morning in 1867 on the hill of Las Campanas. The last words of the last emperor of Mexico, who did not live to be 35 years old, were: “I am dying for a noble reason: in the name of the freedom and independence of Mexico. Lord, make sure that the blood shed by me puts an end to the humiliation of my new homeland and brings good to this country. Long live Mexico! The hat and handkerchief of the deceased emperor were given to his family by a Hungarian cook who accompanied his master to Mexico and returned to Europe after his death.

It was during the reign of Maximilian that the mariachi folk musicians changed simple peasant capes made of cotton and straw sombreros of an immense diameter to “imperial charros”, decorated richer than the seigneur of the emperor himself: with three-strand silver on wide felt fields and embroidery along the tulle. According to one of the official versions, the most that is the Mexican word "mariachi" comes from the French marriage ("marriage" - marriage, marriage). Not every Mexican could afford to order live music, so many hired mariachis only once in their lives - for a wedding. Today, the music of folk musicians is a real brand of Mexico. 5 years ago, the mariachi music genre was included by UNESCO in the "List of World Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity". The composition of the orchestra may vary, but usually it includes a guitar and a trumpet. Additional musical instruments - violin, guitarron (large six-string bass guitar), harp, flute and accordion, not a Mexican instrument at all.

Among the most famous contemporary performers is the Mexican singer and composer Cristian Castro, son of Veronica Castro, the heroine of The Wild Rose and The Weeping Rich.

Talking about the sombrero, one cannot fail to mention El Jarabe Tapatío - a Mexican folk dance with a hat, accompanied by a fervent song and the click of heels.

Kharabe is a pair dance depicting the courtship of a man (of course, in a charro costume) for a woman who first rejects and then accepts his signs of attention. The role of the hat in this matter cannot be overestimated, not without reason the second name of the dance is “sombrero dance” (in the Russian version - “dance with a hat”). The folk song that accompanies the dance tells about the love of a poor peasant boy who, in an attempt to win the sympathy of a beautiful senorita, throws the most valuable of all that he owns, a sombrero, onto the ground. The young lady immediately understands the seriousness of his intentions and begins to spin and dance on the brim of the hat.

The dance was initially banned by the Spanish colonial authorities "due to the indecent proximity of a man to a woman in it, as well as a general challenge to Spanish domination." During the revolution of 1870, when Mexico was torn apart by internal conflicts, civil war and coups, this dance became a symbol of national unity, as it includes the musical directions and dance styles of various regions of the country (the word Jarabe itself comes from the Arabic word meaning "mixing of spicy herbs").

The roots of the Mexican jarabe go back to the Andalusian dance - el jarabe Gitano (gypsy jarabe), and the place of origin of tapatio jarabe is the Mexican state of Jalisco, where it is danced by adults and children. Tapatio is the nickname of a resident of Guadalajara, the state capital. By the way, Jalisco is also the birthplace of tequila and mariachi.

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