They carry Mexican dance until London 2012 | City | tucson.com

They carry Mexican dance until London 2012 | City | tucson.com

They carry Mexican dance until London 2012 | City | tucson.com

The rhythmic sound of the shoes rumbled in the great hall. For almost two years, Viva Arizona dancers and La Paloma Folkloric Ballet have been practicing for the London 2012 Olympic Games that begin this month.

For almost two years, the dancers of Viva Arizona and Ballet Folkloric La Paloma have been practicing for the London 2012 Olympic Games beginning this month . "I'm very excited," said Bruno Loya, an 18-year-old dancer from Viva Arizona. "I am very happy to have the opportunity to experience another culture." Twenty-two dancers from both groups will perform at Warwick Castle and Island Gardens near the Olympic venues on July 28 and 29. Some family and friends will also travel with them, but going there will not be cheap.

Each dancer will pay for their plane tickets, said Matt Straub, producer of Performing Arts Educators. Performing Arts is a non-profit organization, which invited the dancers from Tucson to London.

Both groups raised money with raffles, presentations, selling food and with the help of family members. >

"It has been difficult to practice for this, because we have many other events," said Julie Gallego, founder of the Viva Performing Arts Center. "We're doing as much as we possibly can with the time we have."

In addition to paying for their trip to London, some Viva Performing Arts dancers have raised funds to go to New York City, where they will be performing this month .

Viva and La Paloma dancers have been practicing frequently. But unlike Viva Arizona, La Paloma has gone to the Olympics before.

"We were very fortunate to have performed at the Sydney Olympics in 2000," said Bettina Montañez, Dove. "That's how we were invited back to the Olympics in London this year."

Straub said he met the group in Sydney.

Montañez said she wanted another group to perform with La Paloma. Then Montañez contacted Gallego, who has organized dance groups for 25 years.

Viva Arizona and Ballet Folklorico La Paloma are the only two groups in Arizona that will be performing in London, Straub said. "I just want you to feel very proud and very well, and to acknowledge all your hard work," said Gallego of his group.

The Viva Arizona show begins in the 19th century and interprets the history of Arizona from the point of view of the Hispanic community.

Each period of time is complemented by specific dance styles, said Gallego.

"We tell the whole story of Tucson with music, dancing and storytelling, "said Gallego. "So, I thought, 'Why do not we do a little part of our performance in London?'"

The part they selected will start with the "railroad team", who will dance American hoedown, swing, charleston

The group of La Paloma will dance Mexican folkloric dances with typical regional costumes from Jalisco, Nuevo León and Veracruz.

"We are very excited to represent Tucson for the second time, "said Montañez, who founded La Paloma 30 years ago. "It feels a little unreal and exciting."

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The rhythmic sounds of tapping shoes blasted throughout the vast room. Skirts of bright orange and yellow fluttered around in the air with every spin.

For about two years, the dancers for Viva Arizona and Ballet Folklorico have been rehearsing for this month's London 2012 Olympics.

"I'm really stoked," said Bruno Loya, 18, a dancer for Viva Arizona. "I'm excited to experience another culture."

Getting there will not be cheap.

Each of the dancers will pay their own way, said Matt Straub, the producer for the Performing Arts Educators. Performing Arts is a non-profit organization, which invited the Tucson dancers to London.

Both groups raised money with raffles, performances, selling food, and received help from their families. "It's hard to practice this because we have so many other events," said Julie Gallego, the founder of Viva Performing Arts Center. "We're doing the best we can with the time we have."

In addition to paying for the London trip, other dancers from Viva Performing Arts have raised money to travel to New York City where they will perform this month.

Dancers for both Viva and La Paloma have been practicing frequently. But unlike Viva Arizona, La Paloma has been to the Olympics before.

"We were fortunate enough to perform at the Olympics in Sydney, Australia in 2000," said Bettina Montañez, La Paloma's director. "So that's how we got invited to the Olympics in London this year."

Straub said he met the group in Sydney.

"I kept in contact with them on and off and I liked them, "Straub said. "They were one of the first ones I thought of."

Montañez said she wanted another group to perform with La Paloma. So Montañez contacted Gallego, who has been organizing dance groups for 25 years.

Viva Arizona and Ballet Folklorico La Paloma are the only two groups from Arizona that will perform in London, said Straub.

The Viva Arizona show kicks off in the 1800's and presents Arizona's history through the perspective of the Hispanic community. Each time period is complimented with specific dance styles, Galician said.

That piece of their show will begin with the "railroad team," who will be dancing American hoedown, swing, the 1920s Charleston and the French cancan. The Paloma dance group will strictly be dancing Mexican folkloric in typical regional customs from Jalisco, Nuevo Leon and Vera Cruz.

"We are really excited to be representing Tucson again for the second time," said Montañez, who began La Paloma 30 years ago. "It's kind of unreal and exciting."