SAN DIEGO (KGTV)--If you've ever seen a traditional Danza Azteca performance, you know it's much more than a show.
"We always explain to people that these are ceremonial prayers and that we're sharing them not to entertain people although that's part of it because people love seeing it but also to teach the history of the dancing and to teach there's something to learn from everybody," said Mario Aguilar, the Capitan General or leader of Danza Mexi'cayotl.
The group is celebrating it's 40th anniversary this year, which makes it the longest running of it's kind in the country.
Aguilar says the dancing is just a part of what they offer members.
"We use the name circle because we consider ourselves, everybody in the circle as family members, we have some people who've been dancing 40 years," he explained.
The colorful and elaborate dances are really stories, telling of the ancient indigenous heritage that members are keeping alive.
Aguilar says they're also trying to spread a message of unity.
"We're reminding people that we're all one people we dress differently we talk differently but we all come and go from the same place and that to me is the greatest gift of Azteca Dance."