Mexican Hat Dance

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Updated on Aug 23, 2013

If you’re throwing a party this Cinco de Mayo, be sure to include the Mexican Hat Dance! This popular folk dance was originally performed during a celebration commemorating the end of the Mexican Revolution. It has now become a symbol of national pride among Mexican people. Kids will squeal with delight as they work on their coordination, reflexes, and balance while they dance to “Jarabe Tapatio,” otherwise known as the Mexican Hat Dance Song. 

What You Need:

  • Sombrero or other large brimmed hat decorated to look like a sombrero
  • A recording of the “Mexican Hat Dance” song
  • Players
  • Someone to play the music

What You Do:

  1. Place a sombrero in the middle of a spacious room where kids can dance.
  2. While the music plays, players dance around the sombrero in a circle, playfully stepping on the brim from time to time and clapping to the beat of the music.
  3. Every time the music stops, players must freeze. If a player is caught moving or with a foot on the sombrero, that person is eliminated.
  4. The object of the game is to be the last one dancing.
  5. The person who wins takes a turn playing the music.

“Jarabe Tapatio” was composed by a Mexican music professor in the 19th century and tells the story of love and courtship. The traditional Mexican Hat Dance can be performed by a couple or a group of couples, with the female, “la china,” wearing a China Poblana dress, and the male, “charro,” clad in a three-piece suit with pants that have silver buttons down the seam.