Maestro Spotlight: Carlos Santoyo - Danzantes Unidos®
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Maestro Spotlight: Carlos Santoyo

One of the pioneers of Folklorico in the State of California, Carlos Santoyo, has dedicated his life to the Folklorico community. Mr. Santoyo’s legacy extends from his education in Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico, to the various groups he has founded and directed and his undying passion to the preservation of our culture.

Maestro Carlos worked 38 years for the Sweetwater District from 1973 to 2011 as a Cultural Awareness Facilitator & Dance Instructor. During that time, he organized and taught Mexican Folkloric dance at various elementary, middle, and high schools in the Sweetwater District. Founder of the Sweetwater District’s Ballet Folklorico Program, Mr. Santoyo proves to be a leader in cultivating this art in our culture.

Maestro Carlos founded and directed the first ballet Folklorico programs at Castle Park and Chula Vista High Schools. Grupo Folklórico Castle Park High School was founded in 1975 and Grupo Folklórico Chula Vista High School in 1977. The Folklórico classes at Chula Vista High School became institutionalized as part of the District’s “School for the Creative and Performing Arts” (SCPA) Magnet Program at Chula Vista High School.  His unique position running two groups allowed for many collaborations to take place with each other. Other groups Mr. Santoyo founded are: Grupo Folklórico Nayar, Inc. (1973 – 1988); and Grupo Folklórico de Escondido, CA (1983 – 1992).

His education and formal training in Folklorico began in Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico studying in the Academia de la Danza Mexicana, Tepic Nayarit, México (1972-1977); and Institución Nacional de Bellas Artes, Tepic, Nayarit, México (1972-1977.) Mr. Santoyo has also served in the board of directors for the Asociación Nacional de Grupos Folklóricos, (1978 – 1984) Board of Directors.

Since 1978, Maestro Santoyo has been a part of the DUF familia. In 2013, he received the Danzantes Unidos Lifetime Achievement Award.

At DUF 2016

Maestro Santoyo will be teaching Yucatan for adults, ages 18+.  

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