DeLeon students perform folk dances (w/video)

Carolina Astrain By Carolina Astrain

Nov. 30, 2013 at 5:30 a.m.
Updated Dec. 1, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.

Arm-in-arm, Anmarissa Sierra and her dance partner went round and round.

The gymnasium's yellow light bounced off Anmarissa's sequined blouse as she completed her square dance.

"I learned many dances," said Anmarissa, 9, wearing a timid smile and pigtails.

Kathy Stratmann, who has taught at DeLeon Elementary School since 1994, clapped along with her 90 third-grade students as part of the school's North American Folk Dances program.

The program revolved around circle dances, line dance and an old-time square dance, Stratmann said.

"They have to be able to identify similarities, comparisons and differences between the dances," she said. "It's a lot of fun."

From the crowd of parents lining the walls, Annie Ramos, 66, tapped her foot along to a familiar tune.

The students were dancing to La Raspa, an eastern Mexican folk dance.

"That was popular in my time," said Ramos, who was there to see her 8-year-old granddaughter Haley Ramos perform.

Next to her sat Kristina Mascorro, 25, watching her stepson, Miguel Alvarez, 8, as he danced.

"It's cute," Mascorro said. "I can't believe they learned all these dances."

Once she and her stepson return home, Mascorro said, she hopes he'll teach her some of his new steps.

"He's been telling me about this all week," Mascorro said. "I told him not to show me any of the dances beforehand because I wanted to be surprised - I'm surprised."



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