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Oak Hill Presents School’s First Ballet Folklorico

Oak Hill Elementary School students will perform the school’s first-ever Ballet Folklorico for the student body as part of a Cinco de Mayo celebration at 2 p.m. Monday, May 5.

The event will feature 20 students—boys and girls from various grades—performing traditional Mexican folk dances to music. Reflecting the culture of Mexico, girls will wear colorful lace skirts and blouses. Boys will wear white shirts, dress pants, boots and hats.

“Behind every dance is a story. The costumes and the movements are designed to tell a story about working, courtship and life in Mexico,” said Stephanie Garza, the school’s attendance clerk who volunteers as the group’s instructor. Garza is a professionally trained Folklorico dancer who has been dancing since she was a child. 

The program began earlier this year out of the school’s interest in teaching children about Mexican culture, honoring the tradition of the dance, understanding the different regions of Mexico and promoting physical activity after school.

Garza helped form the group in January and held practices every week after school. Monday’s event will be the group’s first performance and will be part of the school’s acknowledgment and celebration of Cinco de Mayo.

“The idea is to help increase cultural awareness within our school and build relationships among the families in our dual language programs and among all students,” said Dr. Cathryn Mitchell, principal of Oak Hill. “The students eagerly came together and have been dedicated to learning the customs and dances of Mexico.”