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San Antonio's Urban 15 Asks: Do You Have What It Takes?

San Antonio's Urban 15is about to conduct its yearly call  for talent – you've got it, and they want it. 

"We're looking for a few good men, and women, who like to drum and dance," George Cisneros says.

Catherine Cisneros expanded on the idea.   

"We have noticed there is an incredible amount of talent and training in our community that happens at an early age, and then life catches up with you," Catherine says.

Perhaps you drummed on a high school band or loved dancing when you were young. But then you pursued a career, or raised a family.

"We want you; come dance with us," she says.  

Every year they recruit new drummers and dancers for Carnaval San Anto. Turns out George says San Antonio has a deep history with drumming starting with some of its first post native-American settlers, the Canary Islanders.

"And the Canary Islands are known, have a long history of pre-Lenten drumming rituals, where the drummers play for days and days non-stop. This is an old tradition that was from Spain and North Africa that was in the Canary Islands."

Carnaval San Antoalso draws on drumming from Mexico, the Caribbean and South America. In the Urban 15 troupe, dancers strut their stuff in fantastical, lit-from-within costumes and drummers keep them moving. They perform in parades, in front of school children, and says George, this.

"We've been lucky enough to do three Presidential Parades already in our lifetime."

Catherine says they're really something to see. 

"It's absolutely gorgeous. There's really nothing like this in the whole country."

She says their annual call for new dancers and drummers keeps the local tradition alive.  

"...which makes it more grassroots, and it's a blast. We want you to come and drum with us."

Fine more on Urban 15 here


Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii