For Britany Rodriguez, Cinco de Mayo is great mainly because she gets to perform the tilingo lingo, a Mexican folk dance filled with swirling skirts.
Britany, 8, and some two dozen other dancers kicked up a storm Sunday at the Rochester Hotel during a Cinco de Mayo celebration attended by about 100 guests, who enjoyed tamales, salsas, rice, beans and tres leches cakes.
The Ballet Folklórico de Durango, entertained the crowd, and Britany got her opportunity to kick a little tilingo lingo.
“I like to do the circles,” she said.
Flor Rodriguez, Britany’s mother, said she got Britany and her sister Thalia, 16, involved in Ballet Folklórico about a year ago.
“She loves to dance, she loves to be a leader, she loves the different steps, and she loves the colorful dresses,” Flor said of Britany.
Shirena Trujillo Long, coordinator of El Centro de Muchos Colores Hispano Resource Center, the group sponsoring Ballet Folklórico, said the Cinco de Mayo celebration at the Rochester is a scaled down version of a larger fiesta once held annually in Santa Rita Park.
Looking out at the crowd, she said, “I think this is an indication that people want a bigger celebration.”
Trujillo Long said El Centro recently came off a fundraiser that brought in $5,800 to support Ballet Folklórcio.
The next class for Ballet Folklórico begins in August and runs through December. It cost $60 per participant and registration can be handled online by going to Ballet Folklórico website and clicking registration on the pull down menu.
Deedee deHaro Brown, who originally formed Ballet Folklórico in the mid 1990s, said it was initially formed as part of the Durango Latino Education Coalition as an after-school program intended to help keep kids in school.
“We started a dance group and we wanted it to be culturally relevant,” she said. “We teach the history of the dances and their connection to the heritage,” she said.