Danza de los Viejitos is said have begun as a dance of indigenous people centered in the northwestern region of Michoacán, Mexico, mainly in the area of the cities of Cheran and Patzcuaro.. The men that perform this dance are known as "Danzantes" or "Dancers." This dance was danced by the Purepecha people four men to represent fire, water, earth, and air. Four dancers are also believed to be the correct number to dance in this traditional performance because there are four colors that make corn which is red, yellow, white, and blue. The dancers ask El Dios Viejo (The Old God) for good harvest, communication with spirits, and to learn about the past or to predict the future.
A Danzante wears a top and bottom made out of a white blanket. It is topped with a "Sarape," which is a blanket worn as a cloak in Latin America. Each Serape contains different designs and colors. They wear a hat made out of straw with adorned lengthy pieces of ribbon, each one a different color. The ribbon is parted down the middle of the hat, each one hanging 10 cm on the sides. Their shoes are sandals that have a wooden sole in order to make a tapping noise throughout their dance, followed by a wooden cane they also use. The dancers also wear a mask made out of either wood, cornstalk paste, or clay with an elderly man's face painted on it.