Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month | Riding From The Heart

It’s said that during the Mexican Revolution, women soldareas rode in circles, kicking up dust to lure federales into traps. These adelitas, or women of the revolution, are the inspiration for Escaramuza, an event added to traditional Mexican charreadas 20 years ago.

Charreadas, which are similar to rodeos, evolved from competitions between vaqueros and their haciendas in old Mexico. Escaramuza, which means skirmish, is the only women’s event in today’s charreadas. Eight women wearing flowing dresses, wide-brim hats and riding sidesaddle on horses weave precision, strength and beauty into a fast-paced dance that is both sport and art. They train for years to perfect a four-minute routine that dazzles crowds in dusty arenas. One wrong move, in a split second, can mean a loss.

“This work is not easy,” says an instructor for Las Azaleas, a team of first-generation Mexican American hosewomen in California. “To have good results, there’s no other thing than work. Nothing else.”

“Riding From The Heart” follows Las Azaleas on a two-year odyssey to represent the United States at the National Charro Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico. Like their instructor said, the path wasn’t easy for this close-knit team of friends and family. They paid with sweat, fears and even some tears to reach elated peaks. In the end, something happens that they didn't expect.

The film is part of VOCES 2012, a four-part series celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.

Have a look:

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