Wranglers Host Ballet Folklórico Group During Hispanic Heritage Observance

Sgt. John D. Ortiz
Public Affairs NCO
4th Sustainment Brigade

FORT HOOD, Texas With swirls of colorful dresses descended from the inner states of Mexico, the 4th Sustainment Brigade ushered in the sights, sounds, and smells of the Hispanic culture for more than 100 individuals at the Wrangler Freeman Dining Facility.

Hispanic American Heritage Month, established in 1989, was set aside to acknowledge and celebrate the diverse Hispanic cultures of American society.

For five dancers of a local ballet folklórico group, the opportunity to perform traditional dances from the Mexican cities of Vera Cruz, Chiapas, and Jalisco in front of a military crowd was a different experience.

“Performing was fun and really great because it is a part of my culture,” said Elisa Gomez, who has been performing for the last 10 years.

“Through our group, we have performed throughout central Texas, and they are all different experiences. But this performance was special because it was the first time performing in front of the military,” said Gomez.

For fellow dancer Tyaisa Williams, who joined at the request of her best friend Elisa, performing is something she just does. As a Creole descendent, Williams loves everything Hispanic, “My family likes the food and culture, and performing is another way to get to know and understand the traditions and the customs behind the Hispanic culture.”

Sgt. 1st Class Livier Lazaro, who was the narrator for the performance, loves describing her background and her culture.

“I love it when I perform and show off our dresses and I absolutely love teaching the audience little tidbits; about the history and meanings of the different songs and dresses to the beat of the song and the background,” said Lazaro.

“It was exciting to perform for Soldiers,” she said. “It was a privilege to even be asked, since we have never done this for a military crowd.”

Audience member Maj. Dan Walker said, “It was a very good performance. It was great that people came out and learned a little bit more than what they knew before.”

Walker, who married into the Hispanic culture said, “One of the biggest things people need to understand is that there are a lot of different cultures other than from Mexico. From Puerto Rico to Nicaragua, people from all the different countries come together and make up the Hispanic culture.”

“But really it was a great that the [brigade] command came out and sponsored the event, although everyone wears the same uniform, it is really the differences in the people behind the Army Combat uniform and the U.S. Army nametape that makes the Army great as a whole,” said Walker.

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FORT HOOD, Texas — Eliza Gomez (left) and Brianna Kandler (right), both with a local Killeen local ballet folklórico group spin their dresses during a dance which is descended from the Mexican city of Jalisco during their show for the Wrangler Brigade's Hispanic Heritage Month Observation.
(U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. John D. Ortiz)

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FORT HOOD, Texas — Brianna Kandler takes a bow after her ballet folklórico performance in front of Wrangler Soldiers during the 4th Sustainment Brigade's Hispanic Heritage Month Observation festival.
(U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. John D. Ortiz)

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FORT HOOD, Texas — Col. Ronald Kirklin, the 4th Sustainment Brigade Commander thanks the ballet folklórico dancers, Killeen City Councilman Juan Rivera, and others for their support in providing a quality event to honor the Hispanic culture and traditions during the brigade's observance of Hispanic-American Heritage Month.
(U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Erick Ritterby)

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FORT HOOD, Texas — Cpl. Ashlee Ibarra, a Soldier assigned to the 4th Sustainment Brigade claps after the Courtship Dance performance of Livyana Alvarado and Danny Lazaro during the 4th Sustainment Brigade's Hispanic Heritage Month observation festival.
(U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Erick Ritterby)

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FORT HOOD, Texas — Tyaisa Williams (left) and Brianna Kandler (right) pause during their ballet folklórico performance descended from Vera Cruz, Mexico during their show for the 4th Sustainment Brigade's observance of Hispanic-American Heritage Month.
(U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Erick Ritterby)

 

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FORT HOOD, Texas — A brightly-colored papier-mâché covering a cardboard shape known as a piñata hangs from a tree near the Freedman Dining Facility during the 4th Sustainment Brigade Hispanic Heritage Month observation. The piñata originates from Mexico and is a significant tradition for different celebrations and special occasions.
(U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Erick Ritterby)

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FORT HOOD, Texas — Killeen City Councilman Juan Rivera from District 2 talks to the Wrangler Soldiers who were in attendance for the 4th Sustainment Brigade Hispanic Heritage Month Observation. Rivera, a former Soldier spoke of the traditions, ideals, and values of the Hispanic Culture during his speech.
(U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. John D. Ortiz)

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FORT HOOD, Texas — Livyana Alvarado and Danny Lazaro dance the famous courtship dance from Mexico during their ballet folklórico performance in front of Wrangler Soldiers during the 4th Sustainment Brigade's Hispanic Heritage Month Observation festival.
(U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. John D. Ortiz)