We’ve All Experienced These Chaotic Fails While Dancing To ‘Payaso De Rodeo’ At A Party
I was 17 and dating a girl whose family held weekly parties with a DJ and plenty of cerveza, tequila, and dancing. I was the nerdy type and her cousins were all the kind of kids who went clubbing and had much more life savviness than me. So I wanted to make a good impression and be open and sociable, and less of a comic-book-reading geek who was dating the cool girl.
But along came my predicament: a song so impressive in its silliness and so complex in its hyperactive rhythm that it seemed impossible for any human being to dance to. How do you even move your body to that! But, lo and behold, even the abuelita stood up and, cane in hand, danced to the cursed “Payaso de Rodeo”. I stumbled and fell. I tried and fell again. I tried and stepped on abuelo’s toe (he gave me una mirada de miedo). The tías laughed at my clumsiness and the primas went “qué tierno” at my timid efforts to tame the indomitable music of Caballo Dorado. The lyrics would sometimes come to me in my nightmares… “ven, ven, ven, animalito ven…”
If you have ever been to a Mexican party then chances are that you have had to join the line and make a fool of yourself.
The songs “Payaso de Rodeo” and “No Rompas Más” (which is a Spanish version of “Achy Breaky Heart”) are true social glue. They make everyone make a fool of themselves and therefore put us all on an equal playing field when you first start learning the dance. It seems simple but it requires excellent eye-feet coordination and group cohesion. The most common casualties are bruised toes and broken toenails when fellow dancers accidentally step on you with their tacones and botas.
Dancing to Caballo Dorado is a rite of passage.
What sorcery is this?!
And even if someone teaches you the moves, there is still a good chance that you might make a fool of yourself.
As at least two generations of Latinos know, the raised hand that starts the dance makes more people leave the dance floor than a potent fart. You will have to practice in your room before attempting it in public.
So these four Mexican musicians are to blame for all those ridiculous moves we have all made.
This band was formed by Eduardo “Lalo” Gameros, his brothers Gustavo and Gerardo, and their friends Freddy and Jorge Navarro. The band from Chihuahua got together in 1986 and struggled to get their footing in the industry. But after 30 years they remain one of the most played bands in Mexican history. Christenings, primeras comuniones, weddings and we are sure that even some funerals play their greatest hits.
And some people make more attempts to dance Caballo Dorado’s hits than they have tried anything else in life.
And failing is probably more frustrating than having to repeat a driving test multiple times. You will get there, guys, you just gotta invoke The Force and be a ranchero jedi. Come on, David, we are sure you will get it at the 600th attempt!
Having a #fail is almost a matter of national pride.
This dude is ashamed of the fact that he cannot dance to Caballo Dorado’s hits. He calls this a hidden truth… Just by trying you are a true Mexican, compadre, don’t be so hard on yourself.
And the dark arts of the Payaso de Rodeo are passed up and down generations, sometimes unsuccessfully.
Oh, kids these days… But one day they will try to impress someone and live up to the family tradition. Ven, ven, ven, animalito ven…
Oh, these songs have given us so many chisme opportunities.
Sometimes you are laughing at someone being totally out of sync, sometimes you are on the receiving end. Either way, some laughter is guaranteed.
Look at this pobre chamaquito getting taken out during the dance.
OMG. This poor little one just got butt-smacked by a happy dancer. We cannot stop watching, though! Sorry, chiquito!
Ouch! Se vale sobarse. [cringes in Spanish]
That kitchen floor looks as hard and cold as an ex’s heart! The first rule of “Payaso de Rodeo” is you don’t attempt any fancy moves. Ándale, por mamón!
And they went down, stage and all.
And what about this party? They put heart and soul into “Payaso de Rodeo” and the stage just couldn’t handle their moves! No one was seriously hurt, so you can have a laugh at their expense.
She fell de pompis.
This woman just fell flat on her trasero. The rest just kept dancing. No sentón was gonna ruin their choreography. And more than 8,000 people have seen her fall on her butt. Awkward.
A group of teenagers is dancing on a field and suddenly one of them trips and falls near a tree. There is an uncomfortable silence for a brief moment but then they all laugh and cheer.
Happy but all out of sync, torpes pero contentos.
This has been the most comfortably clumsy group of Caballo Dorado fans ever!
It is not a proper wedding without a bit of drama!
The moment all Latina brides wait for. Dancing Caballo Dorado at their wedding. For this novia, however, the moment was ruined by a guest who just went down dancing. Digno de telenovela.
This doña that is just following her own rhythm.
If you can´t follow them just do your own thing, right? This woman just dances away without even attempting to join the crazy band of jumping paisanos. We gotta give her credit for her independent nature.
And well, this is how a perfectly coordinated “Payaso de Rodeo” looks like.
Just look at the fluidity of those movements. Admire the grace and elegance. We just can’t stop jealousy from taking over. Envidia de la mala!
And this is what the chorus actually says… you gotta get at least that right!
Chances are that you have just moved your lips pretending to know the lyrics to “Payaso de Rodeo”. Well, pretend no more! If you are gonna #fail at dancing then you can at least sing it right! These are the actual words of the super fast chorus:
Les digo ven, ven, ven, animalito ven,
Ven y sígueme y veras lo que vas a aprender,
No ves que soy muy poco artístico
Muy listo muy gracioso soy payaso de rodeo
Which roughly translates as
I tell them come, come, come, little animal come here,
Come here follow me and you’ll learn something
You know, I am not the artsy type
But I am smart and funny, I am a rodeo clown
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