Mexican Dancers Find Peace With Dance After Earthquake

Members of a Mexican dance group arrived in North Texas just days before the deadly earthquake struck Tuesday near Mexico City.

Their home of Oaxaca was rocked by the disaster while still recovering from another deadly earthquake earlier this month.

The two guest dancers are joining Dallas-based Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico for a series of performances.

"When you dance traditional Mexican folk dance, you are representing Mexico," said Alexandra Hernandez, of Ballet Folklorico.

Hernandez was joined on stage with the dancers at Tarrant County College South for Hispanic Heritage Month, and the situation in Mexico was not far from any of their minds.

"I just go to bed thinking about my family, my little nephew and nieces," Juan Jose Lopez-Rodriguez said. "On my way here, I was watching the video on Facebook, and I told my friends I just want to stop watching this."

Their families are fine physically, but both earthquakes are taking a mental toll.

"They are sleeping and thinking about waking up under the buildings and everything, and it is really sad for me," he said.

They took the stage and danced for the students.

"It's kind of knowing how to process those feelings in an artistic way," Hernandez said.

At times their feet were heavy with heartache.

"It's really hard. I feel bad, because I feel like I cannot do anything. My people are dying," Lopez-Rodriguez said.

They said they dance to show the strength and beauty of Mexico.

"It's kind of a way to create healing within our community," Hernandez said.

"It comes to my mind reminding me of who I am [and] where I come from," Lopez-Rodriguez said.

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