Oct 16, 2019
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Movimiento de Oaxaqueñx Leaders in Education (M.O.L.E) club kicked off its project called Chilena Oaxaqueña Dance in the Industrial Tech Building on April 26, 2019. (Jennifer Reyes/The Collegian)

Chilena Oaxaqueña dance shares Oaxacan culture with Fresno State students

The Movimiento de Oaxaqueñx Leaders in Education (M.O.L.E) club kicked off its major project called Chilena Oaxaqueña Dance on April 26 in the Industrial Tech Building.

The dance featured different types of Oaxaca music that involved many different foot/heel dance moves.

Students were invited to experience a piece of Oaxacan culture. Those present had the opportunity to learn different tempos and rhythms and then practice their new dance moves and even relieve some stress.

“This chilena night is a project that will hopefully become more consistent within next semester, especially because we want to demonstrate more of our type of traditions, music and dance moves,” said Guadalupe Martinez, member of the M.O.L.E club and criminology major with a law enforcement option. “We are so happy that this event could happen. It has been something planned for such a long time.”

The club was created by a group of friends who thought their culture should be shared  with Fresno State.

The club also collaborated with the Huggins Center and had the opportunity to teach young children about their culture.

“The intention of creating the group was to provide a space for people that identify with us…that came from the same group, same background culture,” said Elio Santos, former president of the club. “The overall [goal] of this club was to create a space where students can feel like they belong.”

Many people came to show their support for the club, whether they participated or just wanted to learn more about the culture.

“This event was a great idea, and it is a great opportunity to pass down traditions and learn more about other cultures,” said Jaime Chavez Duarte, a Fresno State alumna who attended the event. “As a Fresno State alum, I believe that it is important to continue supporting our university, whether it be coming to sports, club, campus events, etc.”

The Oaxaqueno culture consists of different traditions. It has been said that there are 16 to 18 different languages spoken in Oaxaca, Mexico. A dance, known as zapateado, is known to have five to 10 different styles in Oaxaca.

Santos said, “As one of the students that started this, I am happy that the club can continue and come up with different events. It always takes a first time to make something happen. And hopefully within the years to come, we can grow into something bigger.”

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