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My son has been dancing the worldwide known “marinera” since November of 2013 and when in 2014 a friend of mine suggested he could  compete in August, as I parent I knew he wasn’t ready.

I thought there will be other opportunities; indeed there was another competition in November of  2014, and I thought he was a little ready so I said: OK, we will try it and for this first time we did. LUCKILY he got 2nd place, perhaps there weren’t many contestants I don’t know, or perhaps he got lucky as I said or simply he deserved that 2nd place.

Yesterday we attended a competition organized by a Peruvian organization called “Pensando en Ellos”  , “their mission is to help young kids have a brighter future”.

The morning of the competition I helped Tyler, my six years old to change his clothes. He had practice a lot and we thought he could have another chance and perhaps make it to first place. So after I helped him change I told him how proud I was about him. Just to go out and dance it was something to be proud of. Tyler asked me: Mom are you crying? and I said YES because you are my little kid and It is hard to believe you are going to dance in a competition, let’s pray to God to help you this time, ok? and he said: YES, MOM but don’t cry

We got to the competition and they were ready for their first apperance; Tyler and his partner Camila dance well, there was another couple that dance better I was sure of that.

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Someone told me “marinera” sometimes gives you those bitter and sweet moments.

We experimented it first hand, and saw that judges seemed tired and with lack of interest. (my personal opinion)



This is what Tyler (six years old thinks) watch video

The couple that danced third place shouldn’t even dance its third place, the couple in 2nd place should have been in 1st place and the couple in 1st place should have been in 2nd place. Anyhow I believe there are other reasons that magically make couples get its first place in this competition. A couple people mentioned that the couple that made it to first place came from Connecticut which was the same state that won last year, BUT they bring money to the organization (in tickets sold), they bring people to their party two days prior to the competition, as well as higher number of tickets sold the day of competition…and perhaps that is more important than following ethically the rules of the competition. Perhaps, right?

The moment to tell my kid he didn’t make it to finals, I told Tyler you didn’t make it to finals, he said mommy: I was going to win, I was suppose to go to number one. What happened? (he is six years old)…I told him Tyler sometimes you win and sometimes you don’t , this time I think it was unfair you didn’t even make it to finals. Something happened. But we have to be strong, and be patient, try harder next time; and now let’s cheer for your friend Stephanie who is in finals. He kept been sad like a little baby who just wanted to be in mommy’s arms. My heart was broken for putting him through all this.

Then finals came and his friend Stephanie got 2nd place. We came to congratulate her, but few minutes later, we saw her crying outside the area of competition. So I said Tyler: let’s go to Stephanie and tell her don’t cry, you did GREAT. He went up to her and said: Stephanie don’t cry, YOU ARE A CHAMPION (and hug her),  both her dad and myself were almost in tears, because seeing two little six year old kids supporting each other was even more important than winning a competition. It was a life lesson.

Yesterday, was a day to remember, a day that tought my kid to continue trying, to continue dancing. I know there will be other opportunities. Thank YOU so much to all of those who came to support us, and for those who have seen the quality of Tyler’s dance and agree that he is a raw chalan, like a raw diamond and hopefully if he continues to like marinera he will continue growing as a dancer and eventually win one of these days. If he ever wins I hope is because he really deserves it.

As a mom I just suggest you, don’t judge your kid. Especially if he is only six years old.



– GROW with the experience


Someone told me (someone who is been in marinera, for so long) Marinera is for dancing, you are giving your child a lesson for life, because life is like that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose but most importantly is that you keep going.


Evelyn Brooks


I want to share with you something I have learned as a Peruvian-American mom, a mom trying hard to make my kids feel proud of my Peruvian roots, through dance & music. I want for both my kids to learn one of the most typical dances from Peru known as “marinera”.

I have always thought how nice it will be for my kids to learn about my country of origin, Peru. But at the same time I thought HOW could I make this happen, especially in the United States.

I am always busy looking for extra curricular activities, so I always rely on my friends’ suggestions. So about two years ago a friend of mine invited me to these “marinera” dance lessons at a school in Annandale called “Garbo y Salero”. Nice thing about the class is that, the first class is free, so you can have an idea if your kid will like marinera or not.

It is hard to know with one class, but if you want your kid to learn something traditional from your country, enroll them, let the time go by, and then you will see these other kids that at an early age of even 3-4 years old are already dancing. So then you ask yourself why, not? My kid can learn, too. Then you feel the marinera and think about how it reminds you of Peru.

My son Tyler, told me many times: “Mommy, I will never learn how to dance ‘marinera’; mama, those steps are impossible.” I never forced him but I encourage him to prove that he could do it.

In all honesty I gave myself a year and I even told the teacher, if after one year my son isn’t dancing (because of his American genes…LOL), perhaps he didn’t get the latin flavour of dancing in his veins, so maybe I had to understand that his thing wasn’t dancing. It took him a while until he could finally get the steps. His teacher had a lot of PATIENCE, DEDICATION and CREATIVITY to teach the him, though.

After almost two years 90% of what my kid has learned from his school directed by Karim Llamosas “Garbo & Salero” is incredible, in the process to become a better dancer some parents recommend me to take private lessons so he took lessons with his own teacher and also with other VERY dedicated and well known teacher from the DC metro area Milagros Lopez Lolli. Both Karin & Milagros are worldwide marinera champions of Club Libertad;)

We have also taken advantage and took lesson with teachers that came directly from Peru and worldwide marinera champions, like Oscar Torres, Jean Carlo Muro, Ricardo Llerena and soon to come Memo Suarez.

He briefly took classes at Centro Cultural Peru as well.

In the process I have learned that there are many academies in the DC area. Also in this process Tyler had some of the most amazing opportunities:

We have also supported the work of one of the oldest organizations in the area known as Centro Cultural Peru. We were lucky to be invited to participate to several presentations and activities they organize.

We have been extremely lucky to work together with Club Libertad Washington DC. The Club Libertad headquarters in Trujillo,  is the largest and oldest Peruvian “Marinera” organization promoting this traditional dance worldwide. We support the efforts of the organization to promote the Marinera in Washington DC.


Bringing flowers honoring the 2015 Marinera Queen of Club Libertad Washington DC Daniela Diaz.

With all of these having been said, there are many opportunities for your kids to learn about their roots ,in my case to learn about Peruvian traditions. It is unbelievable to see how they really enjoy doing it, how they really have it in their blood and how they could also in the future continue to pass the traditions of being Peruvian, and show that spice and flirty mode that every latin has in their blood;)

This past week Tyler had the opportunity to introduce his kinder classmates to this beautiful dance.  THANKS to his partner Stephanie Aguilar and her family who came to all rehearsals, and took so much of their time to be there with Tyler, at the International Festival of Queen of Apostles Catholic School, simply PRICELESS. But I think they do it also because of the well known phrase “for the love of Marinera”

Hasta la próxima,

Evelyn Brooks