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Maverick Adams
Maverick Adams

El Baile



The text mentions a similar dance that made news headlines the previous year, one that included 41 men. That event was reported in a penny broadsheet like this one, using the exact same illustration, and was dramatized in the 2020 Mexican film El baile de los 41. Because many attendees were part of the political elite of the time, the earlier dance was a much greater public scandal. The later dance is important proof that despite repression, communities in Mexico City that might now be considered LGBTQ+ partied on.




El Baile



Accordion music was the music of working class Texans, regardless of race and ethnicity. Tejanos, Mexicanos, Germans, Czechoslovakians, and African Americans enjoyed it and danced to it, although usually not at the same venue. The Rio Grande Valley baile was a far cry from the more formal ballroom dances in Dallas and Austin but served the same purpose of bringing the community together.


Posters advertising the dance are nailed to trees and placed in grocery stores. The Brownsville Spanish language radio station advertises it as el baile del otoño, the dance of autumn, and has been promoting it for at least a month. The dance promoter has even hired Carlos "El Cotorro" Chavez to drive through the neighborhoods and ranchos. In an old van with speakers on the roof, "El Cotorro" (the parrot) announces the details of the baile through a scratchy old microphone. Everyone in the surrounding barrios and colonias knows that this will be no ordinary dance. Valerio Longoria and his conjunto will be in town, will fill the dance floor, and will not disappoint. Longoria, like many other working musicians, does not make much money, but he earns enough to make a living. Ironically, for this dance, the promoter will receive about $1,500 for organizing the dance, and Longoria's conjunto will be paid only $150 for the whole evening.5 Still, it is more profitable than being paid a quarter a song at the cantinas in San Benito and Corpus Christi.6


One of the most humorous incidents of the evening involves a true "character" of the bailes and quinceñieras, Chon "El Guapón" (self-proclaimed good-looking dude) Villafuerte. Chon believes he is so handsome that no girl would ever deny him a dance. In front of his friends, he looks across the dance floor, spots the beautiful Rosario, and proclaims that she will dance with him. His buddies wager a dinner that she will not. Chon runs his fingers through his hair, unbuttons the top button of his shirt, thrusts out his chest, and proceeds across the dance floor during intermission. When he gets within ten feet of her, she motions her finger back and forth like a windshield wiper, indicating she is not interested. Chon, however, is not dissuaded easily. His reputation and a dinner are at stake, and his friends will never let him forget it. He reaches Rosario and asks her for a dance anyway. Rosario's father, standing behind her, walks to Chon and explicitly tells him she has already refused and that he should leave immediately. Knowing her father's nickname is Big Bad Joe Gómez, Chon quickly retreats. As he walks back toward his friends, they are already laughing uncontrollably and mimicking his macho walk. Chon, however, is still Chon, and he continues to ask until someone dances with him. At three o'clock the dance ends, but the evening is not over. Tía Licha, who had not attended the dance because of a sprained ankle, has cooked menudo for the entire family, and they eat and laugh until five.


The article offers information on the el baile del otoño, the dance of autumn along with Conjunto music and Accordion music. It mentions that conjunto music was born on the U.S.-Mexico border, and the "father" of this genre, Narciso Martinez spent most of his life there. It also mentions that parents chaperone their daughters but also dance and socialize with extended family and neighbors.


Cree que sabe bailar? Si no está seguro, por qué no intentarlo? El baile es una manera emocionante y social de ejercitar su cuerpo. Desde el baile de salón hasta la salsa, bailar ejercita su corazón, ayuda a fortalecer huesos y músculos, y puede mejorar su equilibrio. Y dado que bailar es tan divertido, puede incluso olvidar que está haciendo ejercicio.


Hay estilos de baile para complacer casi a cualquier persona y cualquier estado de ánimo. El tipo que usted elija puede depender de lo que esté disponible en su área y sus propios gustos en cuanto a bailes y música. Si usted ya había practicado el baile, puede continuar donde se había quedado. O usted puede decidir comenzar algo nuevo.


No sabe qué otro tipo de baile elegir? Pregunte si primero puede ver algunas clases. Una vez que comience una clase, tenga paciencia. Puede tomarle un tiempo aprender a mover su cuerpo y sus pies junto con la música. 041b061a72


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