When it comes to dancing in Puerto Vallarta, from salsa to tango to ballroom, there is a broad variety of workshops and opportunities to learn new steps, for all skill levels. Of all these options, many of which are listed in Bay Vallarta, a free bi-monthly publication, the zapateado jarocho is the latest style to literally stomp into town, thanks to social antropologist Lilly Alcántara, who now offers a weekly workshop on Tuesdays, 4-6 pm, at Oro Verde Cafe (Juarez 728, El Centro).
The term zapateado refers to a folkloric dance of Mexican origin characterized by a lively rhythm punctuated by the striking of the dancer’s shoes on a wooden platform or tarima. The term derives from zapato, the Spanish word for shoe. Meanwhile, the son jarocho is a traditional musical style from the state of Veracruz, (the term jarocho a colloquial term refering to people or things from the state. “Not only is it a great way to exercise, have fun, and improve your coordination,” commented El Arrayan’s Carmen Porras. “It is a way to preserve some of Mexico’s most important musical heritage." Porras has been involved in the workshop for several months, and has supported its pursuits by organizing specially-themed nights at her popular Mexican restaurant, El Arrayán, featuring live music and zapateado dancing.
Intrigued? Alcantara’s workshop is open to people of all skill levels and features live musicians to accompany participants. “Even if you are undecided about participating, you can stop by, enjoy a cup of coffee, watch the workshop, and check out what we’re doing. If anything, you will be in for a musical treat!” Aside from specializing in son jarocho, the instructor is well-versed in african and caribbean dance and percussion, along with cuban salsa and several latin rhythms.
The workshop costs $70 pesos per class, or you can pre-pay four classes for $200 pesos. For mre information, please call (322) 180-4854.