Cindy Padilla began her dance career at the age of eighteen with the Ballet Folklórico Aztlan de CSUN dance organization on the CSU Northridge campus. The need to re-charter the resident Northridge group, Ballet Folklórico Aztlan in fall of 1996 after the 1994 Northridge earthquake, was a goal for Cindy and other members who helped reinstate the forty-five year old student and community based dance troupe to what it is today. She received her undergraduate B.A. in Journalism and Chicana/o Studies and her M.A. in Chicana/o Studies with an emphasis in Music, Dance and Folklore from California State University, Northridge. She is presently working on her second Master’s degree in Dance Science at California State University, Northridge. Her most recent written publications include her Master’s thesis entitled: A Mexicana/Chicana Testimonio Addressing Tradition and Authenticity in Folklórico Dance and Mexican Dance Origins in the Encyclopedia of Latino Popular Culture.
Cindy is the director and advisor for ELAC’s very own Ballet Folklórico de East Los Angeles, student folklórico group and coordinator of the annual ELAC “Noche de Cultura,” Spring showcase. She is a proud member of the ELAC Dance Department and 19 year resident performer, choreographer, regional folklórico instructor and Chair of Ballet Folklórico Aztlan de CSUN.
“I believe that as a dance educator that we are always learning from our students and it is our duty to expose them to the not only Mexican folklórico dance but other dance genres, research and history out there—in order to expand their global dance repertoire and to inspire them to continue the legacy of cultural dance. In dance there are no obstacles—you only need the passion, ganas (willingness), and heart to learn any footwork and movement.
Performing Mexican folklórico has always been one of those exhilarating feelings for me, but watching my students perform in a choreography on stage is phenomenal. Bringing these beautiful Mexican regional dances to the life is only possible with the instructors and students who will continue to commit to teaching, researching and performing this beautiful folklórico art form in our surrounding communities and dance departments of our local colleges and universities.” -Cindy Padilla, M.A.
At DUF 2016
Maestra Padilla will be teaching Folklorico High: Zacatecas/Colima for students in grades 9-12th.