Katherine Tinoco Reyes
My name is Katherine Tinoco Reyes. I am Peruvian and I have been living in the United Kingdom for 2 years. My husband is British and that's why we came together to study a master's degree in London and follow our dreams. Having left my country and my loved ones, nostalgia is part of my every day. This motivated my need to fill that void with activities related to my beloved and remembered Peru. Today from the distance, our customs, typical dishes, dances, and everything Peruvian is invaluable, which boosted my need to start my search for these activities.
Dancing has always been my passion and I enjoy doing it. I did it since I was a child. Like my father always tells us "it is in the blood and what is inherited cannot be stolen." I participated in different folkloric events in my school and university, I even was part of the dance events of the Brisas del Titicaca cultural association. There I developed and complemented many of my dance skills with the typical dances of Peru.
With the vision of being able to transmit this experience and passion I started ArtPerUK! An initiative that I founded in May 2019. By teaching other migrant compatriots to dance to Peruvian music, we learn and have fun by sharing the rich musical culture thanks to dancing.
I started with a program of typical dances from Peru, considering dances from the coast, mountains and jungle like 'festejo', 'caporales' and the popular 'anaconda', at the facilities of Queen Mary of London University. Forthcoming classes will include 'valicha', 'marinera', among others, but we are going step by step to be able to learn together. The participants, for now, are Peruvian residents in the United Kingdom who want to practice, improve and enjoy a few hours with compatriots who share the passion for Peru and our dances. We have also had Spanish and Latin participants and I hope, one day, to have British students in order to spread the Peruvian culture.
ArtPerUK has more than 120 interested students, classes are 30 to 35 students on average and we have made presentations at public events to showcase our talent and continue to transmit the Peruvian culture where we are going. For our national holidays we produced a flashmob in London Bridge. It was a joy for many Peruvians and their families to see how their relatives who are so far away participate in these cultural activities!
My vision for the future is to be able to make this a base initiative to form a dance cast that can participate in different events in London and thus improve the propagation of Peruvian culture. I hope this initiative continues and grows, so that we can leave a legacy to our families in the United Kingdom and know that we did something so they can learn more about our wonderful country, Peru.