Calaveras and Costumes!

But not actually Halloween – it was a combined Halloween/Dia de Los Muertos celebration! I went to the celebration at the cultural center where I dance tango – it’s Argentine but in truth there are many different South and Central American cultures represented. Even though I hardly speak any Spanish, I’m getting quite good at recognizing different Spanish accents. (Ay! I should really learn more Spanish!)

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This is the owners’ kid – he’s very cute and friendly.  First he was dressed up like a fireman but then he went to change into his duck outfit.

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Gustavo, who runs and owns Esquina Tango with his wife.  He teaches my current tango class – he’s an excellent teacher with a habit of bursting into this rapid, heavily Argentine-accented (to me, at least) Spanish when he wants to make a point and I can’t always follow! Luckily, he’ll switch back to English when he sees my confused face.

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With his face all done up. It’s a traditional calaveras design for Dia de Los Muertos.

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Another volunteer, with more face painting.  Though I’ve lived in places that celebrate or recognize Dia de Los Muertos all my life, I’ve rarely seen people in the calaveras make-up so I had a great time admiring all the beautiful designs I saw.

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This is Monica, Gustavo’s wife, with her son.  I love this picture.  I’m also going to take a moment to say they are some of the nicest, most welcoming people I have ever met.  Esquina is a wonderful, friendly, welcoming place because it reflects the people who run it and that attitude is a huge part of the reason I volunteer, take classes, and go to events. (The other part is Monica and Gustavo are fantastic teachers and host the best events in town.) Even though I’m there at least once a week, I’m always looking forward to my next visit.

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More face-painting!  There are some truly talented face-painters around Austin, that is for sure!

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Some people did come in costume – here we have Marilyn Monroe happily dancing with a calavera.

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And finally, what celebration of anything even remotely related to Halloween in America would be complete without a Thriller dance?  Please just take a moment to picture all the people, with their calaveras face paintings, doing the quintessential Micheal Jackson Thriller dance.  It was glorious.

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