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Santa Maria High’s Ballet Folklórico Students Earn 1st Place at Dance Competition

Santa Maria High School’s Ballet Folklórico students preserved the culture of traditional Mexican dance and recently received a first-place award for their performances in Los Angeles.

More than 300 people watched the students perform at the fourth annual Competition of Mexican Dance. The students’ colorful costumes reflected and captured the hard-working status of the working class from small villages in Hidalgo, Mexico.

“I feel that Ballet Folklórico teaches the students about culture and folklore through the Mexican culture,’’ said Artistic Dance director Angel Hoyes, who works together with teacher Maria Baro. “They also learned about musical timing, balance, agility and stage presence.’‘

The nearly two dozen students were judged by world-renowned Folklórico dancers and choreographers.

Santa Maria High senior Paola Orozco said she is driven to dance when it comes to ensuring history survives.

“It’s a chance for me to get in touch with my culture,’’ Orozco said. “I really love it and think it is beautiful.’‘

— Kenny Klein is the media contact for the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District.

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