By Diana Replogle-Purinton
Las Fiesteras, sponsored by the Reina del Mar Parlor #126 of Native Daughters of the Golden West, performing early California Dances at Santa Barbara's Founding Day.
When is the last time YOU got up and danced? Humans have danced for joy and sorrow, birth and death, and to get close to the opposite sex … especially to get close to the opposite sex, for millennia. During the era when young ladies were heavily chaperoned anytime they left the house, dancing was an acceptable way to meet a potential partner. The dances we will be learning revolve around that historic element of getting “better acquainted” with that special someone. At least one of the dances we’ll learn, was at one time, frowned upon by “polite society,” and banned by the Mission fathers, due to its closed dance position. (I often wonder what those Padres would think of today’s dance styles.)
Don’t be concerned if you feel you are not a dancer, the dances we are learning are folk dances, done by the everyday “folks,” from children to grandparents. If you’ve watched “Dancing with the Stars” you know that dancing is exercise that can be enjoyed by anyone from Nancy Grace to professional wrestler Chris Jericho! A great benefit is the opportunity to exercise both your body and mind while having fun at the same time! Partners are not needed, as we will work as a group. I’m looking forward to having you join us Saturday, Nov. 5th, from 1-3 pm at the Presidio Chapel at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park. Come in comfortable clothes and shoes and be prepared to have a good time! Who knows, you may just discover a new passion! For more information about the workshop,and to make a reservation, please call (805) 965-0093.
The author (in the yellow skirt) performing with Las Fiesteras.
Dance has been a passion for Diana Replogle-Purinton since the age of seven and continues to play an important role in her life. She currently teaches ballet at the Santa Barbara Festival Ballet, where she am also a member of their Board of Directors, and will be appearing in their 37th annual production of The Nutcracker at the Arlington Theatre Dec. 10th and 11th. She also directs the historic dance group, Las Fiesteras, sponsored by the Reina del Mar Parlor #126 of Native Daughters of the Golden West.