Maestro Spotlight: Irvind Garcia & Melissa Somoza - Danzantes Unidos®
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Maestro Spotlight: Irvind Garcia & Melissa Somoza

Melissairvind2 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 the States, Folklorico became an integral part in keeping him connected to his roots.  More personally, it has served as a means of communication that has strengthened bonds with his family. It was Mexico, its music, its traditions and its history being kept alive through dance that created a sense of belonging and connection to his loved ones.

Melissairvind3Irvind currently works as a Kindergarten teacher at the Toluca Lake YMCA program. Irvind’s passion and dedication in Folklorico is for Folklorico to serve as a teaching tool for developing children. His drive for this first began as he successfully developed and delivered a folklorico program for children at a high needs school.

He takes delight in being able to synergize his passions for Folklorico and working with young children. His motivation is the ability to share with his students a love for our art and culture. This year will be the fourth consecutive year Irvind teaches at DUF.

Melissairvind4Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Maestra Melissa Somoza was first fascinated with Folklorico during her sophomore year in high school after attending a school performance. That is where she began her dance career as a Folklorico dancer, at Bravo Medical Magnet High School. Within a year of learning how to dance, Maestra Melissa became one of the group’s Folklorico instructors with an opportunity to teach her fellow classmates during her senior year of high school.

Her love for Folklorico extends now to over seven years as a dancer. She has been a part of various groups in the region of Los Angeles such as: Cal State University Los Angeles Yectli Folklórico Group, Ballet Folklórico de Los Angeles, and she currently dances with Grupo Folklorico Revolucion.

Melissa is working towards her degree in Child Development at Cal State University Los Angeles. She currently works as a lead K-1st grade teacher at the Salesian Boys and Girls Club in Boyle Heights. Aside from being a teacher and a dancer, Maestro Somoza has also studied various dance techniques that assist her in developing new ideas in ways to teach the youth. She has been an instructor for three years now, teaching Folklorico for Pre-K children.

“It fills me with great honor to be teaching at DUF for my third consecutive year and I am looking forward for the unforgettable bonds that will be formed.” – Melissa Somoza

At DUF 2017

Folklorico Fun – Parent & Child (Ages 6 and under)

Instructors Irvind Garcia & Melissa Somoza take you and your child on a musical dance journey as they learn unique musical rhythms, are introduced to imitative dance movements and practice school readiness skills. Coupled with hands-on arts activities, this “parent and me” workshop introduces the youngest members of the folklorico community to Mexican folk dance movement and music. This workshop is perfect for beginner dancers. Every student must be accompanied by a parent or chaperone. Students are requested to bring their favorite nap blanket and stuffed animal. Adults may bring theirs also.

Note: Please register only the child.  Parents are allowed a “free pass” for class, but we do ask your cooperation in purchasing your own Concert Showcase tickets. Before 2/8, you may purchase a Showcase Bundle for $40.  After 2/9, individual tickets are $15 per night.




DUF 2017 “Alma Indigena” will take place on April 7, 8 & 9 in Fresno, CA.

$ave on registration fees by enrolling early!

Early Registration now through 12/20/16

Regular Registration 12/21/16 through 2/8/17

Late Registration 2/9/17 through 3/30/17







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