History – La Marinera

My mom always jokes with me that I am more Peruvian than she is. Part of this has to do with the fact that I do listen to traditional Andean music, seek out Peruvian musicians, and try to learn some traditional dances.

One of them is the national dance of Peru: La Marinera.

Each region of the country has their own version of the dance but the main one is from my mom’s home town of Trujillo. It’s called La Marinera Norteña.

The premise of the dance is simple: a man and woman meet and they dance around each other as they flirt. It’s a very graceful and precise dance and no pair of dancers performs alike. There is a lot of room to really make this dance your own.

The dances are also performed in different ways. When it’s just a man and woman, the man’s steps imitate a horse (as if he were riding one) while the woman glides and twirls beautifully. On the other hand, you can have a man actually riding a Peruvian horse (yes there is a specially trained type of horse called Caballos de Paso – look it up) while the woman dances barefoot nearby.

Every year in January is the national competition. I have yet to go and see it; it’s on my bucket list. But just so you can see how cool this dance is, I have supplied a video (or two) from the actual competition.  These dancers are the best of the best and you can tell:

I have also posted one of children because watching children dancing Marinera is one of the cutest things you will see:

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