Arnulfo Camarillo: Transcript
My name is Arnie Camarillo. I come from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, original. I live in Moline, Illinois. And I am the founder of the Quad City Ballet Folklorico. That was 20 years ago, and we still dance now. [music] We practice every Wednesday at the Augustana College. And Sundays at the Bettendorf Children’s Museum in Bettendorf, Iowa. [music]
I started about 40 years ago at the University of the Guadalajara in dance group. I danced for about seven years before I come to the Quad Cities. The superintendent of the Moline School District 40 called me for one small group to teach the other small group Spanish education. And we go to Chicago to represent the Quad Cities at Chicago festival. [music]
The mothers who be involved in, the mothers of those childrens
really, when we finished that program, they want to keep going. And that was not
my idea, but see this is twenty years ago, and I still doing. Like a volunteer,
I don’t get paid for that. It’s only, you know, part of the life to
keep the Mexican culture alive.
When I was around, I think 17 years old—I started old, not very young—I started at the University in Guadalajara. I started late, but usually there, they start eight to six years old. Even in Guadalajara too. [music]
I come into the group, let me tell you why. There was about 20 boys and about 70 girls. So I say, “Boy this is one place that I want to be!” [music]
Dance, no matter what kind of dance you’re doing—whatever dance it is, ballet, or modern dance, or contemporary dances, or whatever dance it is, the dance is a discipline. You know, all these childrens we have, most of this, 90% of the children is come from Mexican-American families. And let me tell you, one of the good parts of that is, is come from low income people, very low income people. And the good part of that is that 95% or more finish high school—the people who are in the Quad Cities Ballet Folklorico. And 75% go to college or universities.
I come back again to discipline; it’s very important. The discipline for the childrens is what they’re learning here, more than the dancing. Because the childrens come to us around six to eight years old. And they finish around fifteen or sixteen when they go to college or universities, is when they’re leaving. So already we have, we count a little more than 200 childrens. We follow that steps when they are old, most of those childrens—the majority are teachers, the second are accounting, and so they are good citizens for United States. It’s a good part, what we doing here. [music]
Many of the Mexican musics and dancers be together, you know what they told me? They told me, “You are addict to the dance!”