Jalisco dresses don’t make themselves.In fact, the colorful skirts and blouses require days of painstaking sewing. Connie Solano de Benavidez is intimately aware of that fact. After she founded the dance group Ballet Folklorico de la Raza in 1994, she’d come home from Peterson Air Force Base, where she worked for 35 years, and spend the hours between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. sewing yards of ribbon to her homemade dresses.“My husband told me I was crazy,” said Benavidez, 81, whose daughters and granddaughters danced in the troupe. “He’d ask, ‘When will it stop?’ I’d say, ‘When I’m six feet under.’”Nowadays, those dresses, 36 altogether, and other outfits occupy a room in Benavidez’s home. She loans them out to the troupe, which still performs regularly around the state. In 2013, the troupe marched in the 57th Presidential Inaugural Parade.Benavidez is one of three women who will be honored Saturday at the ninth annual “Latina Voices,” a free Friends of the Pikes Peak Library District event that recognizes the successes and talent of Colorado Latinas.Katherine Latona, a Colombia native and University of Colorado at Colorado Springs graduate, and Dolores M. Martinez, a Colorado native, also will be featured. Latona, who earned… Read full this story
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