Día de los Muertos Celebration was Full of Life
Luís Escobar, staff writer
Día de los Muertos is an important holiday, a day to remember those that we have lost and to enjoy the life we have now. On Nov. 3, Baile de las Calaveras had allowed both values to flourish. “Our main goal was really to have an event that reflected the vibrancy of Día De Muertos and also showcase how Latinx parties and celebrations often look,” stated Augsburg Latin American Students (ALAS) Historian Alondra Alamilla Benitez. Community members, myself included, are happy to say that ALAS achieved their goal and more.
People from all across the Twin Cities joined in for Baile de las Calaveras, including students from other campuses and neighborhoods. Pablo Panora, a first year at University of Minnesota, was willing to share his thoughts on the event. “I think it’s amazing that this event was hosted. The cultural aspect is important, it shows the amount of Latinx diversity and unity.” Families had joined for the dance, children and adults alike getting their faces painted to resemble sugar skulls. Churros and jamaica were offered at the refreshment table, and it was nearly gone before the event ended. Everyone was also invited to visit the ofrenda that was in Oyate Commons, honoring those that had passed and remember their lives.
Ballet Folklorico Rosa Quetzal, a local performing group, had opened up the dance floor. Little girls broke the ice on stage, dancing together to “La Llorona” from Disney’s animated “Coco.” with passionate folklorico dancing that garnered cheers and positive messages from the audience. “As someone that used to dance at these events, it’s breathtaking to see all your art come together,” said a community member. “This new generation will hopefully keep [folklorico dances] going, teaching other generations.” More experienced dancers had gone onto the stage, dancing to songs from all over Mexico and Latin America. Their Jalisco dresses and shawls made their performance mesmerizing.
Once the performances were over, the dance was able to start. All-time favorites like “Payaso de Rodeo,” Daddy Yankee’s “Gasolina” and “Hotel Room Service” by Pitbull were played by the DJ. Members of the community loosened up, and were able to fall right into the dance floor.
It wasn’t long before dance circles had formed, balloons were brought out, and lights flashed to create an exciting ambience. Augsburg second year Gerardo Rodriguez shared that “The event’s ambiance was energetic, and it was exciting to see how many people got together for the dance.”
People were also taught how to dance on the floor, feeling the rhythm and energy provided by every song that was played at Baile de las Calaveras. On top of celebrating the Day of the Dead, it was also ALAS Treasurer Sebastian Hernandez’s birthday. ALAS President Carlos Olivera-Martinez had thrown him on his shoulders and everyone had paraded around the duo, everyone celebrating with him.
ALAS had created a great event on campus that was open to everyone. It showed the importance of Día de los Muertos, the diversity of those that attended, the performers that opened the stage and the music selected to celebrate our lives and those that passed. Myself and others are very excited to see what other events ALAS brings throughout the year.