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The Danzón Went to Texas

By Leonardo Rosen

In 2014, Dr Claudia Llanas, La Dentista Danzonera de San Miguel, and I received an announcement of a special danzón event in March of that year at the University of Texas at Austin.

The grand finale was a concert with the very fine orchestra Danzonera Sierra Madre of Monterrey, Nuevo León, accompanied by dancers from various parts of México. As we love the danzón and wanted to know Austin, we signed on for the trip.

There were groups from Monterrey, Reynosa, Tamaulipas and México City. Claudia and I were the independent couple from San Miguel de Allende. Since we wanted to tour the city and shop, we were naughty and skipped some of the University of Texas lectures. However, we participated in two preliminary dance events at the Mexican American Cultural Center and at a Mexican restaurant.

We were really pumped for the grand concert at the beautiful Bates Recital Hall at UT-Austin. We were bringing danzón to the US at the biggest university campus of that (my) country! Our leader put us in a colectivo, a performance of danzoneros from various groups and independents like us. We marched out smartly to dance “Número 13” with the wonderful orchestra. The Texas audience responded with big applause. Our leader told us that we had stolen the cameras. We expressed our surprise and responded that this had not been our intention. There were certainly better dancers than us.

Nevertheless, she chose us for the final number, another colectivo titled Nereidas, the best-known Mexican danzón. While waiting, another couple told us that we could not be in the center again. I asked them if they wanted to be the center. They said that their teacher told them that if you dance once in the center, you shouldn´t do it the next time. We got the message and moved to the end of the line. This changed nothing, and we got another enthusiastic response, even though there were famous teachers in that number who danced magnificently. We just danced like it was fun and not like it was life and death. I believe that the audience responded to that. In any case, this was probably the high point of our danzón careers. We love you, Texas!

The Office of Culture and Traditions of SMA and the Club de Danzón “Mercerina” invite you to the next presentation of “El Danzón y Otros Ritmos Bailables,” featuring the live music of the Orquesta Marimba “Tono 13,” on Sunday, August 4, 5:30–8:30pm at the Plaza Cívica. Admission is free.

For more information, call 121 4319 (the Cultura y Tradiciones office) or call 154 5840 (Leo, “El Brujo del Danzón”). You are the stars of this show!



“El Danzón y Otros Ritmos Bailables”

Club de Danzón “Mercerina”

Sun, Aug 4, 5:30–8:30pm

Plaza Cívica


With the live music of the Orquesta Marimba “Tono 13”


121 4319 or 154 5840


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