Our Blog - Page 8 of 20 - Danzantes Unidos®
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Maestra Spotlight – Rosemarie Olais Pantoja

Rosemarie Olais Pantoja is a Fresno native who first began to learn Folklorico through a City of Fresno Parks and Recreation class offered to the public. That class awakened a love for Folklorico that now manifests in her thirty-seven years practicing this cultural and traditional art. At the end of that first class, try-outs were held for a local performing children’s group, Marisela’s Dancers & Marimba taught by Marisela Saavedra. Not only was it...

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Maestro Spotlight – Alfredo “El Godo” Herrera

Alfredo “El Godo” Herrera, began his journey in son jarocho at a very young age via the local fiestas and fandangos in his hometown of Veracruz.  In 1989, he joined Mono Blanco’s workshops in son jarocho and in 1990 founded his group, Son La Plaga. By the age of thirteen, this prodigy received his teaching credential in ‘zapateado and jarana’ (dance and music) from the IVEC, Instituto Veracruzano de Cultura.  By 1999, and...

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Maestro Spotlight – Alexander Manzanares

Alexander Manzanares, a son of Mexican immigrants from the state of Chihuahua, was born in Dodge City, Kansas and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As a teenager his love for dance began with his high school folklórico dance group. Upon graduation, he dedicated his time attending festivals, conferences and focusing his attention on traveling across Mexico, visiting maestros in their homes and learning folklórico at its roots. He has been an active member...

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Maestro Spotlight – Antonio Sarabia

Antonio Sarabia is an educator, graphic design artist, photographer, musician and writer based out of Sacramento, California.  He was born in Mexico City and migrated to California with his family in 1993.  With over 16 years of experience in freelance, Antonio specializes in digital graphic art and photography. He has worked extensively in video, audio production, serigraphy, and web design. Mr. Sarabia is the Danzantes Unidos Festival Logo Artist and an invaluable member...

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Maestra Spotlight – Alicia Mendibles

Maestra Alicia Mendibles is a third generation Mexican-American born and raised in Southern California. She started dancing at the age of eight. It was in the sixth grade that she began to form dance groups at her schools. She studied Mexican Folklorico under the direction Lily Aguilar and Maria Quiroz. She has shared the stage with many performers including: Linda Ronstadt, Lalo Guerrero, Mariachi Cobre, and Mariachi Sol de Mexico. Maestra Alicia envisioned...

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Maestro Spotlight: Manuel “Manny” Vizcarra

Manuel Vizcarra’s passion for folklorico dance began at the age of eight.  Throughout the years he became interested in other dance disciplines, jazz & ballet; while continuing his study of folk dances of Mexico. As he gained more experience in dance, he became so inspired by all of the different dance forms that it led him to create his own choreographies. He then decided it was time to take on a bigger...

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Maestro Spotlight – Texomazatl “Blue Deer” David Vargas

David Vargas, also known as Texomazatl (Blue Deer) among traditional Aztec dance circles, founded the original Tezkatlipoka Aztec Dance in 1988 in San Jose, CA. As Executive and Artistic Director, Texomazatl continues to lead the group as a ceremonial dance group among traditional circles and community-based performing arts groups.   For the past 30 years, Texomazatl continues to study in the traditional schools (Calmecac) of Aztec dance and music. He has taught several new...

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Maestra Spotlight: Mayra Selene Ornelas

Mayra Selene Ornelas has been teaching for nearly twenty years. Her passion for Mexican folk dance started at a very young age when she lived in Guadalajara, Mexico, where she developed her foundations as a folklorico dancer. Selene, as all of her students know her, has been a member of folklorico groups companies Folklorico Mi Tierra & Danza Teocatl. She currently directs her own company, Grupo Folklorico No Te Rajes Jalisco, based in...

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Maestro Spotlight: Irvind Garcia & Melissa Somoza

Danzantes Unidos is blessed to be working with the dynamic duo of Irvind Garcia & Melissa Somoza. Irvind Garcia was born and raised in East Los Angeles, CA. He has been dancing Folklorico for eleven years and has been teaching Folklorico to children for four years. Irvind danced under the direction of Benjamin Hernandez, whom Irvind considers a mentor and a form of inspiration for the work he does. Being first-generation in...

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Maestra Spotlight: Amalia Viviana Basanta Hernandez

Danzantes Unidos is delighted to welcome back the renowned Mexican Folklorico dancer and choreographer, Amalia Viviana Basanta Hernandez to DUF 2017.  Maestra Basanta Hernandez was born in Mexico City, the daughter of Mexican choreographer, Amalia Hernandez, and Argentine writer, Joaquin Basanta Crece.  She began her dance training at the age of five, studying classical ballet under Nellie Happee. At age thirteen, Ms. Basanta Hernandez joined the National Ballet of Mexico under the...

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