Performances help celebrate Mexico’s independence day (story and photos)

The Magnet Tribune: Judy Molina
Dance students perform during VMT’s 16 de septiembre event in the auditorium.

A dance teacher at V.M.T created a 16 de septiembre event on September 18 with the goal of bringing out the pride of Mexico’s independence on many students, parents, and teachers.

V.M.T was the first school to ever celebrate any Hispanic cultural events such as el 16 de septiembre many years ago, according to Master of Ceremonies Gregorio Garza, a retired V.M.T. teacher

The event’s co-organizer explained the reason for making this event.

“I made a 16 de septiembre event because I wanted to have a Hispanic event where the students can learn the cultural differences between the states in Mexico,” V.M.T. dance teacher Alicia Mckinnis said.

Mckinnis said she enjoyed her time collaborating with different departments at V.M.T and she very pleased with how the morning students did their performances. There was a similar event for the afternoon students.

“To me, it was probably one of the best events that has happened while combining and collaborating with the music department and with the students,” Mckinnis said. Music instructor Billy Thatcher was also a co-organizer.

Mckinnis didn’t have any problems with how the event turned out but she had an idea of what would have made it better for the event and the students.

“This is definitely something difficult but I would like to have a guest speaker come on stage for a couple of minutes to motivate the students, somebody from the community so they can speak about the pride of being a Mexican-American,” Mckinnis said.

El Grito De Dolores is one of the best ways to expose and educate the students about Mexico’s independence.”

— Alicia Mckinnis

With the variety of performances about each state in Mexico, some were probably favorites for students and for Mckinnis. The states varied from Tamaulipas, Sinaloa, Nuevo Leon, and others.

“My favorite performance would have to be when the boy played the harp. The harp is an extremely difficult instrument to play and it gave a nice melody and showed a good example of the Veracruz culture,” Mckinnis said.

Some students that watched the performance were attracted to different parts it.

“My favorite part would have to be towards the end where the 2 mariachis were singing. It was very entertaining to listen to them sing and the girl that was dancing had a beautiful dress that I really liked,” Tiffany Ruiz, a sophomore dance student who was a spectator at the performance, said.

The manner in how they displayed the Hispanic culture for all the states was a crucial part in this whole event, Mckinnis said. Without a proper display, the whole event wouldn’t teach students about the many different cultures.

“I am very pleased with the students considering we only had one month to get ready. They did a great job on doing their performances and they really did show the students watching the event, the different cultures of the Mexican states,” Mckinnis said.

Mckinnis’s goal was to educate and expose the students to the different cultures of the states of Mexico.

Mckinnis added that everything came out just as planned and that she is grateful for the people that were involved.

She wanted the students to take this event and make it a part of the students’ lives. She knows that they have a great appreciation for the arts that were shown and she hopes that the students will have more pride in their culture.

“El Grito De Dolores is one of the best ways to expose and educate the students about Mexico’s independence,” Mckinnis said. “Teaching them about that was my main goal because I really wanted them to understand what el grito was for and what it meant.”