The Story Behind Anna
Updated: Jun 7, 2021
by Adrienne Swindle
I have become deeply inspired by the beauty of New Mexico. One of my favorite subjects to paint is baile folklorico dancers. I grew up dancing at Baila Baila Dance Academy, where I fell in love with Mexican culture and dance. As a gringa, I often faced judgement for dancing folklorico. However, the Baila Baila community was always supportive, and they quickly became family. My experiences at the studio taught me that culture can be learned, and I boasted this heritage as if it were my own.
My first dance instructor at Baila Baila was Miss Anna. We learned hundreds of dances from every corner of Mexico. One that I still remember from her class is called "Parientes." It's a dance from Sinaloa, Mexico, where the dancers wear bright dresses with flowers and lace. Whenever I think about Sinaloa dances, my brain automatically hears Miss Anna's voice: "right left right, tap, left right left, tap..."
This painting is dedicated to Miss Anna, and I hope that she understands the power she holds as a dance teacher. She inspired me from a young age, and her passion for dance still resonates with me to this day.