Daniel Torrez never imagined he’d help celebrate the inauguration of a U.S. president when he emigrated from his native Bolivia years ago.
On Jan. 21, Torrez will do just that as instructor for the Utah Hispanic Dance Alliance. The troupe will travel to Washington, D.C., to perform in the 57th inaugural parade. About 50 other dance and music groups will also perform including a Pennsylvania Boy Scout Troop from Germantown, Military Spouses of Michigan and the St. Louis’ Lesbian and Gay Band Association.
The parade, of course, will mark the beginning of President Barack Obama’s second term.
“Of course we’re excited to go. This is like a gift for all the hard work we do every year,” Torrez said.
The alliance performs dances from a variety of Latin American traditions, including Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras.
More than 2,807 organizations submitted online applications for a chance to perform as part of the parade, according to a statement from the Presidential Inaugurating Committee.
“The talented groups chosen to participate in the inaugural parade reflect the spirit, values, and diversity of our great nation,” Obama said in a statement. “Vice President [Joe] Biden and I are honored to have them join us in the parade.”
Every selected organization will pay its own airfare and lodging expenses, the statement said, but the committee helps them find reasonable accommodations.
The alliance hasn’t yet decided which dances its members will perform during the parade. That will be decided when the group meets for rehearsal later this week. Utahns might be familiar with the alliance through the Salt Lake Arts Council’s annual Living Traditions Festivals, where the group has regularly performed.
“We try to bring every Latino dance tradition to life,” Torrez said.
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Utah Hispanic Dance Alliance
The Sandy-based group, dedicated to performing Latino cultural dances from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Brazil, Peru, Columbia, Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, have been invited to perform in the 57th Inaugural Parade in Washington D.C.
When • Monday, Jan. 21
Where • Public access points to the parade will be available between 4th Street and 14th Street, Washington, D.C.
Info • No ticket required for entry to the parade, but tickets are required for bleacher seating. Visit http://2013pic.org/about for more information.