The Dancing Girls Of Ajijic


O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance?

W.B. Yeats

The Dancing Girls Of Ajijic

By Mark Sconce


An Ajijic mother glances at her daughter

Seated beside her and smiles



She looked to be of tender age,

Her full attention on the stage;

Her eyes transfixed by each plié:

The Kirov troupe, the corps de ballet.


Cinderella’s foot slips into place;

Pink ribbons substitute for lace,

So she can pirouette and leap,

En pointe her dancing dervish feet.


The curtain falls, the crowd erupts.

The little girl, in hand with mamá,

Walks, silent, home…


Before she went to bed that night,

She clenched her cross, as in a trance,

And prayed beneath a lambent light

To Xochipilli, god of dance.


Leaping, soaring, arabesque,

Striving to be statuesque.

A butterfly emerging—free.

A dream of endless filigree.


But other dreams are being dreamt

By other girls in Ajijic–

Of other dances to attempt

With native costumes, tried technique.


Dreams– Ballet Folklorico!

Pride—Jalisco, Mexico!

Whimsies of a southern belle

Whirling like a carousel.


Not just a sheer artistic whim,

But whimsy nonetheless,

A pre-Hispanic native hymn

In vivid, multi-colored dress.


Dances of the Indio

From every part of Mexico,

Dances from the Yucatán,

Oaxaca and Michoacán

Chiapas and Quintana Roo

Tabasco and Hidalgo too.


Her elegant and supple line,

Her blur of charm, quicksilver curve,

She sparkles like a summer wine,

The joy of life, the life of verve.


Her flying skirts, black bouncing braids

Submit to swirl and counter swirl

Or stately, graceful promenades

In makeup meant for masquerades.


And then there are the Latin dances,

Well-known to girls of Ajijic,

Forever sparking fresh romances,

Forever dancing cheek to cheek.


The samba, rumba—ay, caramba!

The mambo, tango—light fandango!

Do-re-mi-fa—cha, cha, cha! cha, cha, cha!

The salsa, merengue, y paso doble…

Finally there’s the restaurant Manix,

Home to expats and Hispanics,

Who come to hear the music play

And gladly dance the night away.


And there one night in Ajijic

Two dancers charmed my soul—

Two little girls across the street,

Two sisters I was told.


The one was eight, the other ten.

I saw them there that night

Across from Manix restaurant,

A vision in the light.


While we all danced the night away,

The music sounded fair;

And on their roof across the way,

Those sisters danced on air.


The rhythm and the rhyme of it,

The tempo and the time of it,

The lovely charm and chime of it,


The Dancing Girls of Ajijic,

A joy to move my weary soul.


O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
Now we know the dancer from the dance!







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