Los Solecitos

Sigamos Bailando

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Univision, the largest Spanish-language network in the United States, is famous for airing Don Francisco's long-running variety show Sábado Gigante and an abundance of telenovelas (Latin soap operas), but Univision also has its share of weekend children's programs -- and anyone in the U.S. who includes Latino programming in his/her channel surfing on a Saturday morning is likely to have stumbled across los Solecitos, a children-oriented act that has been around since 2003. In Spanish, their name means "the Little Suns," and the characters' costumes are modeled after the sun (sol is the Spanish word for sun) but with arms, legs and faces; it's a cute gimmick that has made los Solecitos' CDs and videos a major hit in the Spanish-language children's market. Los Solecitos' fifth album, Sigamos Bailando ("Let's Keep Dancing"), is extremely bubble gum, which is to be expected because a Fonovisa press release described the disc's target audience as "los pequeños de uno a siete años de edad" ("children between the ages of one and seven"). The music is Latin pop, but with a variety of influences ranging from Mexican norteño to Dominican bachata to reggaetón -- and one of the tracks is a G-rated adaptation of the Ana Bárbara smash "Bandido" (instead of focusing on romantic love, los Solecitos' version is about trying to catch a mosquito). Sigamos Bailando is primarily aimed at Hispanic children, but los Solecitos recordings can also serve as a learning tool for non-Hispanic children who are trying to learn Spanish as a second language. Non-Hispanic parents who give their kids Spanish lessons from an early age are doing them an enormous favor -- "fluent Spanish" will look very good on their résumés fifteen and twenty years down the line -- and los Solecitos can be part of the learning process for both Hispanic and non-Hispanic niños.

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