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How to Do Mexican Step Dancing

Mexican step dance walks along in rhythm and steps. A story flows to an end as the dancers move in rounds to music. Vivid colors display the meaning of the moments. On the stage, dancers stamp the cumbia, huapango, chipanecas or jarabe tapatio.

Things You'll Need:

  • Wood
  • Traditional Musical Medley
  • Traditional Costumes

Dance instructions

Make a wooden platform for the stage. Wood under the feet resounds like a drum to the rhythm.

Put on traditional costumes. The man puts on a cowboy or charro suit, in black or brown, with tight-fitting trousers seamed down the side with gold or silver buttons in a double row. A white shirt and rebozo tie complete the dress. A large hat or sombrero tops his head. The woman wears a light and colorful outfit with a full flowing skirt and petticoats underneath. Ribbons are typically worn. Lace adorns the arms, bodice and skirt hem. In the jarabe tapatio, her China Poblana asks attention.

Play the traditional medley. The tune, such as the Cumbia Nortena, gives the dance Mexican musicality and the traditional feeling. The telling notes set up the steps.

Dance the steps on the wooden stage. Stamp out the dance's rhythmic movements on counts 1, 2, 3 and 4, beating out the story in the rhythm on the wood. Meaning in the story moves the dance, such as the courtship of doves in the jarabe tapatio, known popularly as the Mexican Hat Dance. Tap the finer steps, sending a sentiment into the stage. Men dance the steps with hands held behind the back, stamping a strong leading rhythm. The woman walks femininely, humbly stamping steps before the man, turning gracefully and whirling to display her colors on a skirt always flowing. The couple moves around each other, without touching.

Clap, and yell Ole.


Learn the full story behind the dance before you master the steps.

Study a little about the culture in the place the dance is performed.

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