Q&A: Alex Hernandez (10)


Alex Hernandez (10) dances during one of her many performances. Hernandez has been dancing for nine years, and does not plan on stopping any time soon. Photo by: Alex Hernandez

Justin Andrews, Author

Q: When did you start dancing? Why?

A: I started dancing when I was seven, which makes it nine years this year. I started dancing because I wanted to do something I enjoyed and something that was part of my Hispanic heritage.

Q: What is the style of dance you do?

A:I dance Folkloric dance or Mexican Folk dance.

Q: What is one thing you like about this particular style?

A: I like this style because it helps you learn things about your culture and heritage as you do something that you have fun doing.

Q: What is your favorite part of this type of dance?

A: My favorite part of this type of dancing [is] that I get to learn about my heritage and get to first hand experience how they dance. It is also very helpful with keeping me busy and more focused, so it helps with school.

Q: How has it helped you learn new things about your culture? What are some things you learned about it that you did not know before?

A: It helped me learn new things because my dance teacher, Debra Bolaños, does a workshop and teaches us where our costumes originated or where the dances we dance [originated] as well. One thing I learned is that Hispanics like to put a great value on pride, honor and dignity as part of their appearance. [This] means that, just like our dances, the people in general are very traditional due to their past.

Q: Where and when do you practice?

A: I practice in East Chicago in Xel-Há Escuela De Danza. I practice three times a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. For about two hours each time.

Q: Where do you perform?

A: We perform in many places. We do have two performances that we’ve been doing since I can remember and that is my dance for Cinco De Mayo and the night of Latin culture at Bishop Noll. But, other than that, we get booked for cultural events, weddings and other parties or celebrations.

Q: What does dance mean to you?

A: Dancing to me means that I get to express myself in a different style of art. I get to show what I am able to do physically and mentally because to be a part of this dance group, you have to be prepared for hard work. You have to be ready to push past a boundary and achieve something you didn’t think you could and that is what dance has taught me to do.