Rosemarie Olais Pantoja: Is a native Fresnoan who first began learning Folklorico through a City of Fresno Parks and Recreation class offered to the public. That class awakened a love for Folklorico that has stayed with her for forty-one years. 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 a performing folklorico group, but members were also taught to play the Marimba. Two years later, she became a founding member of the Ballet Folklorico y Marimba de Fresno. In that group, she credits Ron Cavasos as the person who really taught her how to teach Folklorico to beginning dancers and break down steps so that more children could participate and feel that sense of pride and accomplishment. As a teenager she participated in the group, Folklorico Musical, and stepped in as Dance Instructor for that group for the next five years. At age 19, she joined El Sol Dance Company under the direction of Irene Gonzales. After having been a performing member, as well, as one of the teachers of the El Sol Jr. Dance Company during the 25 years that she was an active member of El Sol, she helped to create the first folklorico dance class at McLane High School and became their first Folklorico Dance teacher from 1995-1999. She is currently the instructor of Los Guerreros de Fresno High School who will be participating in the workshops and performances this year.
Designed to focus on simplifying Mexican folk dance movement, this workshop is perfect for teens and adults with less than one year of experience. Teachers of beginning level dancers may also find this class helpful in their quest to teach and reach as many potential students for their groups as they can.
“My specialty in Folklorico dance is the the teaching and breakdown of a steps for the new Adult / High school student. My objective is to not only break basic Folklorico steps apart into easily understood pieces, but also to help my students feel empowered when they return to their groups to work even harder at becoming stronger and more confident members of their group. In addition to my instruction, I also incorporate time to answer and demonstrate my student’s specific questions about steps. This allows the students to learn from each other and builds that sense of community that is needed in a strong successful group.”
DUF 2020 “Unidos Por Nuestras Raices” will take place on April 3, 4 & 5 in Fresno, CA.
Late Registration continues through March 23, 2020