Hispanic Heritage Month September 24 2016

Hey Nerds, it's Danielle! Figured I'd give this "blogging" thing a shot. I asked Jena and Des for any suggestions and they mentioned to hit the topic of Hispanic Heritage Month before September is over. So take a seat and let's get started!

Let's begin with my family background. My mom was born and raised in Tijuana with her mother having a background from Sinaloa and her father having come from Sonora. She moved to the US at the age of nine, where she learned to read and write English by the age of fifteen. On the other hand, my dad was born here in San Diego. His dad was born and raised in South Carolina and his mom has Native American blood. In other words, my dad never learned to speak Spanish. In his defense, he understands some words more than others but can't hold a conversation other than a welcoming, "Hola, como estas?...Muy bien gracias." Despite that tiny detail, my parents have been happily married for almost 30 years. But my mom knew it would be important for my brother and I to learn to speak both languages equally. I am extremely grateful to be bilingual. It has helped me all throughout my years in school and so far in the workforce.

For all of you that don't know me, my biggest passion is Ballet Folklorico. If you're not quite familiar with what the heck that is, here's a definition I pulled up online, "Baile folklórico, literally "folkloric dance" in Spanish, is a collective term for traditional Mexican in dances that emphasize local folk culture with ballet characteristics - pointed toes, exaggerated movements, highly choreographed."

It all started at the age of four. One Saturday morning, my mom decided to take me to our local rec center down the street from the house because she heard there were having ballet folklorico classes for all ages. As soon as I walked in, I was immediately intrigued by the beautiful skirts moving in every way to the very popular Jaliciense, La Negra. From that day on, I was part of Ballet Folklorico Ixtlan de Zeret Lara for many years. I made several friendships along the way and I even made the dance instructor my godmother during the time of my "quinceanera." Once I got into high school, I then joined Ballet Foklorico Chula Vista and by my senior year, my high school teacher began his own group. Grupo Folklorico Ti-Pai given by the instruction of Eduardo Romero began December 2014 and I am still dancing with them to this day. It's been fifteen years since I started dancing (I'll let you guys do the math) and I plan on dancing for another fifteen more.

Dancing ballet folklorico and being bilingual has brought so many amazing opportunities in my life. From participating in competitions and workshops, to being televised on NBC and KUSI, to being interviewed for local newspapers, and to even winning scholarships in high school. But above all, dancing has helped me gain knowledge regarding my ancestry. I'm grateful for all the opportunities of being a proud young hispanic woman has brought to me in this community.

I encourage all my readers to take time out of their day to do some research on your family background. Who knows, you might find something quite interesting. Please feel free to give me some feedback. Thank you to all who stuck through my very first blog. I appreciate the love guys!

xOXoXxOO,

Danielle

P.S. I hope all my Nacho Libre fans caught that sign off and read it in Jack Black's character LOL!