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June01

EVERYONE can learn “Marinera” in Washington DC

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:

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Invited by Milagros Lopez Lolli, to participate in a special ceremony at the World Bank to meet/greet and THANKS to Managing Director and one of the most powerful women in the world Madame Christine Lagarde, to promote Peru for the upcoming Annual meetings in Peru.

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.

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Tyler invited by Centro Cultural Peru to a special presentation of Ms Chiquitita in Falls Church, Va.

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.

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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