Abstract: Do any of you enjoy dancing? On one of my adventures in Chile, I discovered the Chilean national dance, the Cueca, by watching a couple of young adults dance it on the streets of Chile’s capital, Santiago de Chile.
Introduction: For Easter weekend, I took a trip to Santiago, the capital of Chile. I especially wanted to go to the Santiago zoo because I had heard that it had awesome and unique animals. On our second day in Santiago, two of my friends and I decided to finally go to the zoo. The house that we were staying at was in Central Santiago and the zoo was located on Cerro San Cristobal, which was only a couple of blocks down from the house. On our way there we got a little surprise. We finally saw the Chilean national dance: the Cueca!
Although the Cueca is Chile’s national dance, it is also recognized in other countries such as Argentina and Peru. It was officially named the national Chilean dance in 1979. The Cueca dancers wear very traditional Chilean clothes. The men wear huasos, the Chilean version of a cowboy hat, ponchos, riding pants and boots. The women wear beautiful flowered dresses with something that looks like an apron over them. The dance is very intimate between the dancers even though there is no physical contact. All the communication is done through eye contact and the dance itself. It is one of the most beautiful dances I have ever seen.
What tradition did I learn about?
After hearing so much about it, I finally watched the Cueca with my own two eyes! The Cueca is one of Chile’s biggest traditions. Chileans have a special place in their heart for it because it is signifies so much joy and pride.
Why does the community have this tradition?
The Cueca dance is Chile’s way to express itself musically and through dance. It is danced at many Chilean festivities to celebrate different events such as Chile’s independence on September 18.
Is this tradition connected to the environment? How?
Chileans are extremely proud of the Cueca and truly believe in its power to express joy between themselves and Chile itself. If you ask any Chilean about the Cueca, they will go on about it for hours! After experiencing the Cueca myself, I understand why they love it so much. It is so beautiful and different from anything I have ever seen. I took pictures and a video of the dance for you to watch as well. Enjoy!