DURHAM, N.C. — Each culture expresses its unique heritage and traditions differently, and in Latin America, dance is a key part of that.

What You Need To Know

  • Hispanic Heritage Month occurs annually Sept. 15-Oct. 15

  • It celebrates the contributions of Hispanic Americans to the history and culture of the U.S.

  • Takiri Folclor Latino features dancers from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Colombia

The Takiri Folclor Latino is a Latin American dance group based in Durham that travels around the state performing at festivals, sporting events and schools – sharing their heritage and love of dance with the rest of the world.

Pilar Rocha-Goldberg of Takiri Folclor Latino rehearses a traditional routine. (Spectrum News 1/Rachel Boyd)

“It's a way to show happiness, because the majority are happy, how we dance with the couple, the colorful dresses and for us it's helping us maintain our identity and our roots,” Pilar Rocha-Goldberg, the director and choreographer for Takiri Folclor Latino, said. 

Rocha-Goldberg has been dancing since before she left Colombia to come to the U.S. nearly 20 years ago. She and her daughters brought their culture and its traditional music and dance with them, soon finding a community of others seeking a way to honor and enjoy their heritage. 

“It's a way to unite us, because you see we have different cultures even though we are from Latin America or Hispanics, but then the music unites us,” Rocha-Goldberg said. 

She choreographs all of their routines, pulling traditional movements that would be found in each country and relying on the help of members of the Takiri family from each background. 

“We love dancing, and for us it's like a therapy, with dance you can express yourself, you're free,” Rocha-Goldberg said. 

They'll be sharing their love of dance with North Carolina's fútbol fans this weekend – better known in the U.S. as soccer – as the opening number for the N.C. Courage game on Saturday. They'll take the field at 5 p.m. and perform several traditional dances before the game.

“This celebration really is to show our culture, but also to recognize that we can share happiness and colorful moments that we bring to this community,” Rocha-Goldberg said. 

Members of Takiri Folclor Latino smile after a successful rehearsal. (Spectrum News 1/Rachel Boyd))