Dance Group Aims to Celebrate Ancient Mexican Culture During Chicago Thanksgiving Parade

Danza Azteca Xochitl-Quetzal is one of the local cultural groups performing in Chicago's Thanksgiving Parade

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Chicago's 88th annual Thanksgiving Parade returns with six balloons, 16 marching bands, six equestrians, 10 festive floats and 38 special performances.

Danza Azteca Xochitl-Quetzal, based in Little Village and Back of the Yards, is one of those special performers. Their mission is to preserve Mexico’s ancient culture through music, song and Aztec dance in the tradition of the Concheros.

"I am very happy to represent my culture in this dance," said dancer Diana Becerra. She’s been with Danza Azteca Xochitl-Quetzal for 4 years, and this will be her third time performing in the parade. "And I’m really excited, because this time we are doing a performance before the parade and I think that will be really great for us to represent who we are."

"We are incredibly privileged to be one of the opening acts for the Thanksgiving parade, so you can find us at the beginning of the parade on stage," said dancer Mariela Aranda. 

The group's name, "Xochitl-Quetzal, means precious flower in the Aztec language. Their dances and songs are centuries old.

"The dances are traditional indigenous dances of Mexico that have been passed down for many generations . We are preserving Mexico’s ancient traditions," explains Aranda.

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