Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Big Wrap Up! - Week 53

Welcome Back!  Mauritania checked out the blog this week! Thank you and welcome! The blog continues to grow! It's funny how these things go.  Last week I announced that week 52 was my "official" last post of the One Big Wedo blog. I made a one year weekly commitment in January 2013 to write about all my folklorico experiences on a weekly basis.  I stuck with it and accomplished that goal.  Apparently, all you have to do to increase readership is to announce "the end" because I had people come out of the woodwork to read it this week. Better late than never I suppose!

Although I plan on continuing posting from time to time, I wanted to wrap up the "official" 52 week blog by providing my readers with the blog stats and some closing thoughts and reflections on the past year.  What a year it has been!  I thought maybe I would reach 7000 to 7500 readers by the end of the year.  I am pleased to say that as of this posting, I have had 9797 page views!  I am shocked.  I find it mind boggling at times, that people actually take the time to read these posts. Who knew a white man dancing Mexican folklorico would turn so many heads! It got people's attention! Blogger's tracking charts show a steady growing audience from the beginning to now. Thank you to everyone who has read the blog and made it a success.  You make it all worth it.

Several months ago, on week 27, I put out a friendly competition to all the countries around the globe and challenged them to read, read, read. The blog stirred up a frenzy and was received all around the world. So how did things end up?  Which countries read and followed the blog the most? Here is a list of the top ten countries who embraced the Wedo:

1.)  United States of America
2.)  Russia
3.)  Germany
4.)  France
5.)  Canada
6.)  United Kingdom
7.)  South Korea
8.)  Mexico
9.)  Poland
10.)  China

Of course there were many others who checked out the blog.  Here's a list of all the countries that read the blog.  From my calculations, there are 73 total:

Afghanistan, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Columbia, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jersey, Kenya, Lebanon, Malta, Maldives, Mauritania, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Netherlands, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Venezuela, Vietnam

My goodness!  I really need to brush up on my geography!  That's a lot of countries!  There's still a whole lot more out there too!  Keep sharing the blog and let's see if we can reach them all!  I believe it can and will happen!  I'm still open to a world tour!  Who wants to host the Wedo and dance group. Have boots, will travel!

As far a the posts themselves, Week 31's "Modern Folklorico Dancing" took the #1 spot for all time most read post.  It also generated a lot of feedback. To be honest, I was surprised that so many folks read it.  It wasn't even one of my personal favorites.  In fact, I felt that I didn't do a good job explaining myself and that I came off as somewhat contradicting. But I'm my biggest critic and people understood the message the way I intended nonetheless. Some felt it was controversial, which may have aided in its success. Overall, most agreed it provoked thought.

Now not to go all back into it, but I do want to say that on the one hand I was trying to make the point that there are many variations of the same dance in the folklorico world - some more traditional and authentic than others.  On a different note, I was trying to inspire originality in style an execution.  I made the comment that many group imitate Amalia Hernandez and Ballet Folklorico de Mexico's style, dances and choreography.  It's kind of like going and seeing a tribute band.  Yes, they sing the same songs an even copy the original band's look. However, at the end of the day, everyone still prefers the original band because they are the "real" one. I even had one of the dancers from Mexico write me a note thanking me for the post.  Anyway, lets just move on.

Several other post received heavy readership as well.  Here is a list of the top 21 posts:

1.)  Modern Folklorico Dancing - Week 31

2.)  A Big L.A. Af-fair! - Part 1 - Week 40

3.)  The Day of The Dead - Week 30

4.)  Heart & Sol - Week 16

5.)  A Deadly Transformation - Week 45

6.)  Latin Stage Fever - Denver Part 2 - Week 27

7.)  Richard Solorzano - Week 52

8.)  Sizzling Sinaloa - Denver Part 1 - Week 26

9.)  Chihuahua, Chiapas & Baja - Week 43

10.)  The Viva Navidad Experience - Part 1 - Week 51
11.)  Who Is Herencia Mexicana?  A History! - Week 42

12.)  Dancing At Disney California Adventure - Week 37

13.)  In The Beginning - Week 2

14.)  The Audition! - Week 47

15.)  L.A. County Fair Show - The Sequel - Week 41

16.)  Images Of Mexico - Week 21

17.). History In The Making - Week 4

18.)  What To Wear - Week 5

19.). Getting Started - Week 1

20.)  The Miracles Of Dancing - Week 6

21.)  39 - Say It Isn't So!  - Week 34

Now on the contrary, the all time least read post was week 32's "Why A Blog?"  How bizarre that week 31 was the top post and week 32 was the bottom.  Perhaps folks got turned off by week 31s post, who knows.  I actually wrote week 32's post due to some of the feedback I received regarding week 31's post.  Some folks after reading week 31 asked "Who is this Wedo and what gives him the right to write about folklorico?"  So I wrote a post about how the blog actually came about. I personally like week 32s blog much more than week 31s.  Go figure!  

I acknowledged that there are a plethora of highly qualified individuals out there, much more so than I, that should be blogging and writing about folklorico.  I even presented the idea of guest bloggers for my blog.  I approached several qualified folks to write a post to share on my blog.  Most agreed, but in the end, no one followed through, leaving my voice to be heard alone.  So that whole idea was a flop!  Kind of like week 32's post!  Of course now that I've mentioned it here, it will probably be in the top 10 by next week!

Since I'm sharing flops, the kids coloring activity didn't go well either!  Not a single soul sent the Wedo a picture.  Oh well.  Too bad, so sad.  I gave it a shot.  I had one person submit some logos for my logo contest. Thank goodness for that!  How embarrassing it would have been if no one had responded.  At one time, I presented an idea of creating a folklorico themed t-shirt line. That didn't happen either! Besides, Miicamisa Folk/Urban Wear already has a full line of fabulous folklorico themed items. I discovered them after I presented my desire to create some folklorico t-shirts of my own under the label "We do Wear!"  I may have some One Big Wedo blog t-shirts made up yet. Anyone interested out there?  Of course, with my bald head, folks may mistake me for Casper!  For other folklorico t-shirts and products, check out Miicamisa online and on Facebook.  And what's up with no movie offer, reality television show, music/dance video, interview or book deal? Hello Hollywood! I'll even settle for a 12 month Big Wedo calendar! Now that's sure to be a big seller! I'm waiting! Call me Hollywood! I guess there's still some hope in creating a stage show at least, but time will tell. I even hit Cher up on Facebook to have us perform a number at her upcoming show in Ontario in July. All I've heard back is crickets!

Now that I've shared the flops, how about some more positive areas of success? I received lots of encouragement and emails over the past year.  I even had a couple college dance professors from Texas share my blog with their students as recommended reading on their class syllabuses.  How cool is that!  I heard from some of the students themselves!  Hopefully they are still reading! Multicultural California, Folklorico Page and Folkloricochannel were all very supportive of the blog this past year. Thank you very, very much.  In fact, Folklorico Page recently gave me this compliment which has to be among the best I've ever received.  As part of the response to my post about "Richard Solorzano - Week 52", Folklorico Page wrote, "One Big Wedo's blog is [also] the "real deal", funny, informative and insightful." I am so going to have you write the book review if I should get a book deal! I recommend everyone to check out Folklorico Page on Facebook. I find the commentary and photos very inspiring. Keep up the great work.

With the announcement of the blog being officially complete, I received several texts, emails and messages encouraging me to keep blogging. Of course, this sparked my thinking of what I might still write about. I thought of a few things but then I couldn't remember if I've already written about the topics. So this week, I spent some time reading and reviewing my own blog and guess what, I haven't written about them. That means I have three or four potential new blog topics to post about. Plus, with 2014 just getting started, there's a whole year of potential posts just waiting to happen. Stay tuned. However, if the blog should end after that, I have to be honest in saying I won't miss all the work it takes to write these little gems. And I won't miss all the computer errors, unsaved and deleted posts, rework and the like. Nothing is more disappointing and aggravating than spending all day working on a post only to lose it.  Even so, I really appreciate Blogger and Google for the free service and for providing a place for my voice to be heard.  Your voice can be heard to, sign up and get to writing!

Let's take a moment and look at all the performances!  Here is the current list of shows I've participated in since the very beginning:

May 11, 2012:  Mariachi de Azusa 6th Annual Benefit Concert - Azusa, California (Herencia Mexicana) - Live Mariachi
May 13, 2012:  Our Lady of Assumption - Mother's Day - Carnival - Claremont, California (Herencia Mexicana)
May 18, 2012:  Plaza Mexico Performance - Lynnwood, California (Herencia Mexicana)
July 19, 2012:  Azusa Memorial Park Event - Azusa, California (Herencia Mexicana) - Live Mariachi
July 25, 2012 :  2nd Annual Viva La Vida @ Fiesta Mexicana Restaurant - Montebello, California (Images of Mexico) - Live Mariachi
July 28, 2012:  Durado Cultural Heritage Foundation Fundraiser Event - El Monte, California (Herencia Mexicana & Images of Mexico) - Live Mariachi
August 19, 2012:  Private Birthday Event - Pico Rivera, California (Herencia Mexicana)
September 14, 2012:  Plaza Mexico Performance - Lynnwood, California (Herencia Mexicana)
September 15, 2012:  Private Birthday Event - Montclair, California (Herencia Mexicana) - Live Mariachi
September 26, 2012:  Private Wedding Event - Loma Linda, California (Herencia Mexicana)
October 7, 2012:  St. Adelaide Church Carnival - Highland, California (Herencia Mexicana)
October 28, 2012:  Private Birthday Event - Azusa, California (Herencia Mexicana) - Live Mariachi
December 1, 2012:  Foster Care Event (DFCS) - Montebello, California (Herencia Mexicana)
December 9, 2012:  Riverside Festival of Lights - Riverside, California (Herencia Mexicana)
December 11, 2012:  Durado Foundation, Misa y Fiesta de Celebracion a la Virgen de Guadalupe - Riverside, California (Images of Mexico) - Live Mariachi
February 9, 2013:  Mission School Event - Redlands, California (Herencia Mexicana)
March 9, 2013:  Santa Teresita Hayden Child Care Family Festival - Duarte, California (Herencia Mexicana)
April 6, 2013:  Private Birthday Event - Ontario, California (Herencia Mexicana)
April 13, 2013:  Herencia Mexicana 2013:  El Mitote - Historic Civic Center Theatre - Corona, California (Sol de Mexico Ballet Folklorico) (Herencia Mexicana)
April 28, 2013:  City of Azusa - 2013 Cinco De Mayo Celebration, Azusa, California (Herencia Mexicana)
May 5, 2013:  Workman & Temple Family Homestead Museum, City of Industry, California.  "Romance of the Ranchos" (Herencia Mexicana)
May 12, 2013:  OLA Fiesta!  Our Lady of Assumption Parish, Claremont, California.  (Herencia Mexicana)
May 18, 2013:  Private Family Reunion Event - Arcadia Park in Arcadia, California. (Herencia Mexicana)
June 1, 2013:  Ascension Church Community Festival 2013 - Los Angeles, California. (Herencia Mexicana)
June 14, 2013:  Orgullo 2013 (Sponsored by Unidos Y Orgullo) - Potrero Night Club - Glendale, Colorado (Herencia Mexicana)
June 15, 2013:  Denver Pridefest 2013 @ Civic Center Park - Orgullo Latino Stage - Denver, Colorado (Herencia Mexicana - 2 Shows)
June 16, 2013:  Denver Pridefest 2013 @ Civic Center Park - Orgullo Latino Stage - Denver, Colorado (Herencia Mexicana - 2 Shows)
September 1, 2013:  Disney's Community Arts Showcase - Disney California Adventure - Hollywood Backlot Stage - Anaheim, California (Sol de Mexico Ballet Folklorico)
September 7, 2013:  City of Azusa Recreation Department - Azusa Senior Center Fiesta Event - Azusa, California (Herencia Mexicana)
September 8, 2013 - Plaza Mexico Colima Festival & Estrella TV - Lynnwood, California (Ballet Folklorico Mi Tierra)
September 22, 2013 - LA County Fair - Plaza De Las Americas Stage @ The Fairplex - Pomona, California (Ballet Folklorico Sol de Mexico) 
September 29, 2013 - LA County Fair - Plaza De Las Americas Stage - Pomona, California (Herencia Mexicana)
November 2, 2013 - Day of The Dead 2013 - Olvera Street Gazebo - Los Angeles, California (Herencia Mexicana)
November 2, 2013 - Dia de Los Muertos Ten Year Anniversary - Historic Downtown Riverside @ Market & Tenth - Riverside, California (Herencia Mexicana) (BF Sol de Mexico)
November 9, 2013 - Private Event - Quinceanera - Razzle Dazzle Dance Studios - Riverside, California - Live Mariachi (Herencia Mexicana) (BF Sol de Mexico)
November 16, 2013 - 50th Wedding Anniversary Private Event with Mariachi Los Camperos - The Ritz Gardens - Whittier, California - Live Mariachi (Dancers from Various Groups)
December 7, 2013 - D.C.F.S. Holiday Event at Montebello Senior Center - Montebello, California (Herencia Mexicana)
December 14, 2013 - Riverside Festival of Lights sponsored by The Mission Inn - Main Stage at University & Main - Riverside, California (Herencia Mexicana)
December 21, 2013 - Disney Viva Navidad Guest Performances - Disney California Adventure Park - Anaheim, California - Paradise Gardens Stage - 4 Shows (Herencia Mexicana)
December 22, 2013 - Disney Viva Navidad Guest Performances - Disney California Adventure Park - Anaheim, California - Paradise Gardens Stage - 2 Shows (Herencia Mexicana)
March 29, 2014 - Priscilla's Quinceanera - City Of Industry Expo Center - Industry, California (Herencia Mexicana)
April 8, 2014 - Veracruz Photo Shoot - Los Angeles, California (BF Mi Tierra)
April 27, 2014 - Azusa Cinco de Mayo Celebration - Azusa City Hall - Azusa, California (Herencia Mexicana)
May 1, 2014 - Destination Downtown Riverside Fashion Show - Riverside California (Herencia Mexicana)
May 1, 2014 - Riverside Cinco de Mayo Celebration at I.E. Art walk - Riverside, California (Herencia Mexicana)
May 6, 2014 - First Steps Independent Living Cinco de Mayo Event - San Bernardino, California (Herencia Mexicana)
May 11, 2014 - OLA Fiests Mother's Day Performance - Our Lady of Assumption Church & School - Claremont, California (Herencia Mexicana)
June 20, 2014 - Unidos Y Orgullo's 2014 Pride Event at Club El Potrero - Glendale, Colorado (Herencia Mexicana)
June 21, 2014 - Denver Pridefest 2014 at Civic Center Park - Latin Stage - Denver, Colorado (Herencia Mexicana - 3 shows)
June 22, 2014 - Denver Pridefest 2014 at Civic Center Park - Latin Stage - Denver, Colorado (Herencia Mexicana - 2 shows)
KGNU Radio Interview.
July 26, 2014 - 15th Wedding Anniversary Celebration - Mentone Moose Lodge - Mentone, California (Herencia Mexicana)
August 2, 2014 - Fabiola's Birthday Party - Escobedo's Residence - Covina, California (Herencia Mexicana)
August 23, 2014 - Disney Community Arts Showcase - Disney California Adventure - Hollywood Backlot Stage - Anaheim, California (Herencia Mexicana)
September 6, 2014 - City of Azusa "Fiesta" - Azusa Senior Center - Azusa, California (Herencia Mexicana)
September 27, 2014 - St. Bernardine's Multicultural Festival - San Bernardino, California (Herencia Mexicana)
September 28, 2014 - Los Angeles County Fair - Plaza de Las Americas, Pomona, California (Herencia Mexicana)
October 5, 2014 - Unity Fellowship of Christ Church Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration - Riverside, California (Herencia Mexicana)
October 12, 2014 - Private Wedding Reception Performance - Mentone Moose Lodge, Mentone Beach, California (Herencia Mexicana)
October 18, 2014 - Herencia Mexicana's 2014 Annual Fundraiser Event - The Ranch - Riverside, California - 2 Performances (Herencia Mexicana)
November 2, 2014 - Placita Olvera - Olvera Street Dia de Los Muertos (Day of The Dead) Festival - Los Angeles, California (Herencia Mexicana) 
November 2, 2014 - Riverside Dia de Los Muertos Featival - Downtown Riverside, California (Herencia Mexicana)
November 22, 2014 - Disney Viva Navidad! - Disney California Adventure Park - Paradise Pier/Goofy's Sky School - Anaheim, California - 2 Shows (Herencia Mexicana)
November 23, 2014 - Disney Viva Navidad! - Disney California Adventure - Paradise Pier/Goofy's Sky School - Anaheim, California - 2 Shows (Herencia Mexicana)
December 6, 2014 - Knott's Merry Farm - Knott's Berry Farm - Calico Stage - Buena Park, California (Herencia Mexicana)
December 13, 2014 - Winter Wonderland - The Roosevelt Bowl @ Perris Hill Park - San Bernardino, California (Herencia Mexicana)
December 13, 2014 - Riverside Mission Inn Festival of Lights - Riverside, California (Herencia Mexicana)
December 21, 2014 - KCAA Radio Event @ The Carousel Mall - Performance & Radio Interview - San Bernardino, California (Herencia Mexicana)

January 18, 2015 - Disney Community Arts Showcase - Hollywood Backlot Stage - Disney California Adventure - Anaheim, California (Herencia Mexicana)

I count 40+ shows!  Not too shabby. That's a lot of foot tapping going on! Almost averages out to one performance for every year old I am! One Big Wedo thanks all the dancers, dance groups, directors, teachers, photographers, videographers, Wikipedia, various reference resources, You Tube, Facebook and the like, who all contributed to the success of the blog. There's a saying that goes something like "It takes a village to raise a child." I guess it could be said "It takes a village to help a wedo dance and blog folklorico!" I especially want to thank God, Richard and my parents. Even during the tough times!

If you check out my profile on Google+ and Gmail, you can view tons of photos I've posted in the blog.  There are also a few photos that Google selected to enhance!  They are referred to as "Google+ Auto Awesome Photos"! Check them out sometime.

In other news, just as the blog ended, Herencia started up practices for the 2014 season. Everyone came back a little bit sluggish from the holidays. We are all a bit weighted down, if you get my drift. Now I didn't eat tamales, but I had my share of tortillas and chocolate. Now comes time to "feel the burn" and lose those extra pounds before our first show of the new year. Speaking of weight, check out this photo of me I found from a couple years ago. I was a much bigger boy! Folklorico makes you skinny!

Hey, here's a completely random piece of information for you.  I must be having one of my ADD moments.  After our fair performance last year, we received some feedback about our costumes. Although everyone liked our costumes, it was brought to our attention that the women's bloomers didn't match. So guess what, now they do. Richard designed a Herencia bloomer that all the women have wear, so everyone is uniform now. And I thought I suffered from OCD. Yes folks, even the underwear have to match!  

In closing, I want to share something I learned in college. Many of you have read and know that I studied Bible and Theology. I recall one class where the professor shared how there will be a day when all the nations of the world stand before God and present their contributions to life and society to God.  We discussed various aspects of life in which nations and people contribute too.  I remember thinking that one of the great contributions of Mexico is folklorico. I often think about how I am not only dancing before men, but also before God. Folklorico dancing reflects God and His creativity through man. That's my opinion anyways. What a beautiful thing.

So to wrap this all up, I sum up the whole blog like this:

Guero, whetto, wettoh, huero, weddo, weddoh, whedo, wedoh, huerro, Guerro, guedo, wetto, huedo, wero, guelo, wello, wheddoh, wedian and FOLKLORICO!  But no matter how you prefer to spell it, I'm still the One Big Wedo!

That's pretty much it! So what does next week bring, if anything? Check back and see! I already have folks trying to persuade me in going on some new adventures so I can write about them! Until then, this Wedo needs a moment to catch his breath! Wedo out!

Contact Information for "The Big Wedo":

Google E-mail:
Facebook: One Big Wedo (Guero)
Twitter: Michael Smith @onebigwedo

Contact Information for Ballet Folklorico de Herencia Mexicana:

Richard Solorzano, Director: (909) 201-1957
Facebook: Herencia Mexicana

Note: Looking for your own adventure or journey? Herencia is a great place to find one!  Folklorico lessons and performances are both available. Herencia Mexicana performs for private & public events of all kinds. Book your event today! Herencia Mexicana welcomes new students. No previous folklorico or dance experience required.  All are welcome.


1 comment:

  1. I've been enjoying your blog and hope to continue to do so. So, take a deep breath, and I'll look for your next adventure!