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Dancing the Marinera

by Inocencia Toribio Garcia

a young woman in a fancy dance costume with a full, blue and white lace skirt smiles at the camera, a smiling young man in formal attire standing behind herThe Marinera is a wonderful dance, and it is a symbol of being Peruvian. Don Abelardo Gamarra, known as “El Tunante,” named this famous dance. It is an elegant couples’ dance and shows loving conversation between the partners.

The Marinera Festival is held every January in the city of Trujillo. This event is very important and includes parades, horseback riding and dance presentations. I love the Marinera because I am from Peru and my nephew is a Marinera dancer.

There are schools for Marinera, and my nephew, Brian Flores, attended one. He began at age five and graduated at age eighteen. He now performs at parties, dinners, and birthday celebrations. Brian has a small performing group of 8-10 dancers, with girls and boys, who range in age from five to eighteen. He may perform alone, with a female partner, or with a group – depending on what the guests wants. He’s sometimes paid for this, sometimes not. He loves dancing the Marinera.

a couple dancing at a competition; the man wears a dark suit and lifts a straw hat dramatically in the air while a woman in a full, maroon dress clings to him, her skirt billowing as they movea young couple wearing formal dance attire stand together, smiling at the camera. The young man gestures with his wide-brimmed hat while the young woman in white lace rests a hand on her large, colorful beltPeruvian Independence Day is July 28, and he performs everywhere that day, as a celebration. Also, La Marinera was given the honor as the Cultural Heritage of the Nation. I love La Marinera because it’s from my country. It’s my native dance. I’m very happy when I hear it. I am so happy that my nephew is a part of this Peruvian tradition. Our family is extremely proud of him, and I love my nephew!