Ballet Folklorico Nuestra Raices
Mexican folkloric dance
The Mexican folkloric dance troupe Ballet Folklorico Nuestras Raices was founded in May 2009 when a group of parents at Tipton Elementary School in Tulare County decided to teach their daughters traditional dances from Jalisco, Mexico, so they could participate in the school’s talent show. They taught a small group of seven girls between the ages of 5 and 12. Despite the fact that 90% of the school’s students are Latino, Nuestras Raices’ performance was the first time Mexican folkloric dances had been performed at the school. The group has since grown to 17 members — 11 girls and 6 boys — who have performed at numerous local events in Tipton.
In 2012, Nuestra Raices received support from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program to teach traditional dances from Durango and Zacatecas to youth. Costumes and footwear will be purchased to enable opportunities for the youth to perform throughout the Central Valley. Instruction in dance, its cultural context, and staging of the two regional styles will be provided by folklorico specialist and culture-bearer Vicki Filgas.
In 2010, with support from ACTA’s Traditional Arts Development Program, Nuestras Racies worked with master folkloric dancer Vicki Filgas. Filgas taught the group traditional dances from other regions to increase their repertoire and also offered instruction in costume-making. Filgas also worked with the group on strategies to raise funds to support their group.