February 26, 2014

A celebration of Peruvian dances

The Peru SST unit jumped, wiggled, twisted and sweated their way through a spirited workshop on traditional dances of Peru. Their instructors were Pedro Farias and his partner, Lisette Alcántara, enthusiastic and talented dancers who have performed with many professional groups.

The women learn a new dance.

The women learn a new dance.

Using videos, music and patient step-by-step instruction, Pedro introduced students to dances from several regions of Peru. Pedro provided the historical background and context about each, including the meaning behind the dancers, the costumes worn and the major physical movements required.

The men show their enthusiasm for dancing.

The men show their enthusiasm for dancing.

Pedro and Lisette demonstrated each dance’s moves, with all manner of vigorous jumps and rapid body contortions. The students eagerly took to the dance floor to try them out. It was a warm, summer day in Lima, and soon everyone was rosy-cheeked and sweaty. There was lots of laughter as students did their best to match the whirling moves of Pedro and Lisette.

Malaina relaxes after learning three new dances.

Malaina relaxes after learning three new dances.

A long-time friend of the program, Pedro had an infectious enthusiasm that kept the students dancing for two full hours. By the end, the students had picked up some of the moves, and had a deeper appreciation of the skill, grace and athleticism of Peruvian dancers.

 

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