Music, song, and dance are fundamental expressions of cultural diversity. Nothing says more about the memory of a long-ago story of family migration, ethnic pride, or the attachment one feels to a faith, occupation or interest group than the melodies and moves that come to mind when you least expect them.

Musical diversity often comes along with specific rules of social behavior or comportment. Some cultural musical traditions are meant to invite everyone to dance; others require still contemplation. Some sacred music invites shouting and public participation; other sacred traditions demand reverence and silence.

Festivals are wonderful occasions because they allow 2 pretty remarkable things to happen: you learn how others conduct themselves around their own cultural traditions AND you get (most of the time) to play in someone else’s cultural “playground” without fear of offending or getting it wrong. In fact, at festivals most of the time the members of a particular cultural tradition would be the first ones to invite you to join in. At folklife festivals, in particular, these exchanges can be very illuminating —sometimes even life-changing. See, at folklife festivals everyone is always teaching and always learning.

What to expect musically at Oro Valley Meet Yourself?

Well, prepare by wearing some comfortable shoes.

  • Get ready to polka along with the Bouncing Czechs, vibrant musicians who share the music of the Czech Republic and Slovakia (quite a few Oro Valley residents working at local science companies come from these countries).
  • Watch and emulate the fantastic moves of Bollywood-style dance, as performed by Oro Valley youth. Bollywood, generally referring to the highly successful and prolific Hindi-language film industry in India, is characterized by a unique style of dance –a hybrid combination of Indian folk theater, ancient epic dramas and Western (American) musicals. It is pretty irresistible.
  • Get ready for a real treat:  some of the best Mexican folkloric dancers in Arizona will dance on Saturday under the direction of master Folklorico teacher and internationally recognized choreographer Julie Gallego (a resident of Oro Valley).