SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill. (WLS) --Hispanic Heritage Month was celebrated in dance on Thursday night when the Mexican Folkloric Dance Company of Chicago took the stage at South Suburban College in South Holland, Illinois.
The Mexican Folkloric Dance Company of Chicago is billed as the city's oldest Mexican dance institution and the show was filled with colorful costumes, music and dancing that honors those who came before them.
For over three decades, Art Director Jose Ovalle has been bringing Mexican dance culture to the city of Chicago, but his dance history goes back to high school.
"There was something in it that grabbed my attention. Then a few years later then I went back to Mexico and studied dance at the University of Durango for two years," said Ovalle.
Ovalle founded the company in 1982 with his wife. With Thursday's show, they have compiled a show that highlights various areas of Mexico.
"Most of the dances come from different regions. There's climate differences, topographical differences and there's indigenous differences that have shaped each state to have a different form of dance," said Ovalle.
"I just think it's really vibrant and really colorful. There's all kinds of music from different regions of Mexico so you have a variety even though it's all from the same country. So I think that's really unique to our style of dancing," said Genesis Landeros, a dancer with the company.
Landeros has been dancing with the company for 10 years and sees dancing as a way to thank her family.
"A lot of them who have left their homelands to give us a better opportunity. So I think this is a great way of saying thank you and staying involved in who we are in our culture. So it's just really satisfying to bring that to different kinds of people everywhere," said Landeros.
For Christian Washington, it is a way to embrace the heritage of his mother.
"I'm able to experience this side of my culture and I'm not able to do that with my African-American side. It's nice to see what my mom has brought, being from Jalisco, and the dances that are with it," said Washington.
The free performance took place at 7 p.m. at the Kindig Performing Arts Center at South Suburban College.