It is an extraordinary accomplishment to be declared
“World Ambassador of the Marinera” and receive recognition from the Peruvian Ambassador in Washington, D.C., from the Peruvian Consulates in Seattle, Miami, and San Francisco, as well recognition from the Association of Peruvian Institutions in the United States and Canada, and Club Peru in the city of Seattle. Sonia Porras was a special guest and jury member at northern marinera contests in a number of cities of the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia, and acted as a representative of Peru in international folkloric festivals such as Folklife Festival, Ethnic Dance Festival, Winterfest, Children's Festival, etc. She also represented Peru at the Friendship Art Festival in Pyongyang, Korea. In her early career as a ballet dancer, she earned important national and international awards, for example, at the 12th International Ballet Festival organized by jury members from Havana, Cuba, at the Cervantine Festival of Mexico, and at the Guatemalan Dance Festival. As you will remember, because of her immense talent in dance, at 16 years of age she entered a contest and won the title of ballet instructor at the National School of Ballet at the National Institute of Culture of La Libertad. She also formed part of the professional ballet group at the same institution for many years.
In our city, Sonia Porras has been honored by important public institutions, with a gold medal from the Trujillo Provincial Municipality on World Folklore Day and an award of distinction from the National Institute of Culture of Trujillo. She was renowned and congratulated for achieving the title of “Four-time National Marinera Championship,” a distinction bestowed by the Regional Department of Industry and Tourism of La Libertad, and more recently for reaching Master Category, she was declared “Five Time National and World Marinera Champion.” This presentation is a brief portrayal of Sonia Porras de Niño de Guzmán, a woman who has played an exceptional role in disseminating the artistic expressions of her Peruvian cultural heritage. In one of her bouts of creative restlessness, she created the first children's’ group of folkloric dances, and those students just shortly thereafter went on to form the outstanding dance group, “Perú Canta y Baila [Perú Sings and Dances].”
This host of honors rewards Sonia Porras’ brilliant, triumphant journey as a dancer and instructor of northern marinera, culminating 45 years of intense and fruitful labor in the cultural dissemination of our country's beautiful folkloric dances, especially as a northern marinera instructor, since this prolific work produced such stellar marinera contestants, many of whom earned the title of champions and national champions of the marinera. Practice and technique are not the only things needed to achieve perfection in this demanding and elegant national dance; one must have authentic mastery and be able to share the secrets of the dance without selfishness, acting often as a counselor, friend, and confidant. Contestants must be imbued with confidence and assurance, and harmonious relationships with parents are needed in order to successfully attain the emotional support and requirements needed to win. In other words, to be both a teacher and prepare for contests, complete determination and dedication to her students was required. To gain their love and respect, charisma and empathy were essential. All this and much more has always summed up our beloved and respected Sonia Porras, whose greatest sign of success lies in her originality and exquisite creativity as a dancer, as well as her simplicity, humility, nobility, and warmth as a person which is always devoid of any show of haughtiness or superiority. It is precisely her profound sensitivity that led her to create a foundation for free instruction in the marinera to children of limited financial means in the city (2009). We have had the privilege of knowing her well and we have shared in her artistic restlessness and dreams, so we can testify to everything expressed in these simple lines that hopefully will transmit our admiration, gratitude, and recognition of a great champion, matchless instructor, exemplary mother and wife, and wonderful friend.
The return of Sonia Porras to Peru and Trujillo has inspired individuals and institutions associated with the marinera dance to reaffirm the rightful recognition of her value in disseminating authentic Peruvian folklore, and in particular, of the northern marinera during her forty-five years of fruitful artistic endeavors. Her students, their parents, and many friends in this city agree that she deserves even greater honors as a sign of gratitude and recognition for so fruitfully sowing Peruvian culture in the hearts of many generations, work that she continues to advance in the United States. We cast our votes to have such a renowned instructor and undisputed champion of all time receive the well-deserved recognition of Trujillo and all Perú as an expression of affection, respect, and admiration for being what she is: a dignified representative of the Peruvian woman and authentic ambassador of the marinera.