Have you ever tried to Tango? Slipped into a Salsa? Felt the urge to Flamenco or been moved to Mambo? These are just a few of the many styles of Latin Dance popular throughout the world today. Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated annually from September 15 to October 15, is the perfect time to learn more about this lively and passionate dance tradition through a special performance from the Latin Ballet of Virginia.
Whether performed onstage before an audience of thousands or among friends and family at a neighborhood party, these dances embody the evolution of Hispanic and Latinx culture from around the world. To close out Hispanic Heritage Month, the Latin Ballet of Virginia will perform “Alma Latina” at the Tuckahoe Library on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 11:00am.
Founded in 1997 by Columbia-native Ana Ines King, the Latin Ballet is a Richmond-based performing arts company dedicated to the teaching and presentation of Latin dance and culture. Their family-oriented dance-theater production “Alma Latina” serves as a celebration of the history and heritage that has influenced the rhythm, music and dance of Latin America.
This talented group of performers is sure to inspire a deeper appreciation and understanding of the diverse cultures of Latin America, the Caribbean and Spain. All ages are welcome and encouraged to attend to learn more about this lively and passionate dance tradition.
You can learn more about Hispanic and Latinx culture any time at the library. Here are a few of our favorite new children’s books celebrating this rich cultural tradition:
Carmela Full of Wishes by Matt de la Peña – A little girl walks through her neighborhood with her older brother and considers wishes for herself and her family in this latest book by the author and illustrator of Last Stop on Market Street.
Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Denise – Beautifully illustrated by Paola Escobar, this book tells the story of author, puppeteer, bi-lingual storyteller, and New York City’s first Puerto Rican librarian, Pura Belpré.
When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana by Michael James Mahin – With bold illustrations and a poetic narrative, this book follows rock legend Carlos Santana from his childhood in Mexico to 1960’s San Francisco as he searches for his musical voice.
Where are You From? by Yamile Saied Méndez – Tired of always being asked where she is from, a young brown-skinned girl asks her abuelo, who tells her of her family’s rich South American heritage and reminds her that where we come from is about much more than geography.
Dreamers by Yuyi Morales – This gorgeous and lyrical picture book tells the story of a mother and child’s immigration from Mexico to the United States, and how the public library helped them discover not only a new language but a new voice.
My Papi has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero – The author paints a vivid picture of her small Southern California hometown, her love for her neighbors, and her family in this beautifully illustrated new picture book.
Between Us and Abuela by Mitali Perkins – A Mexican-American family goes to visit their abuela and bring her gifts in this picture book about La Posada Sin Fronteros, an annual Christmas service held at the border fence in San Diego/Tijuana.
Red Panda & Moon Bear by Jaro Roselló – Two brave Latinx siblings use their imaginations and their magical hoodies to protect their neighborhood from supervillains, aliens, and time warps in this new graphic novel from Cuban-American cartoonist Roselló.
Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina – Merci starts the new school year with a lot on her plate. Not only does she have to avoid drama with friends, but she also help out her family as her while her grandfather begins developing early signs of Alzheimer’s Disease, all while trying to figure out who she is as a person. Medina perfectly captures what it feels like to be a sixth grader in this award-winning coming of age novel.
Ana María Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle by Hilda Eunice Burgos – Fans of Newbery Award-winning Merci Suárez Changes Gears will enjoy reading about Ana Maria “Anamay” Reyes and her tight-knit Dominican family, as she learns the strengths and weaknesses of her family tree and prepares for a performance that could shape her own future.
Sal & Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez – Spunky duo Sal Vidón and Gabi Real, two Cuban-American students at Miami’s Culeco Academy of the Arts, deal with the side effects of Sal’s ability to transport items- including his dead mother- through time and space in this wacky middle grade sci-fi adventure.