Sounds of Cultura (SOC): Fiesta Mexicana Dance Company

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Fiesta Mexicana Dance Company has been in the Valley for almost 20 years. The company is the official dance group for the City of Phoenix. We’ll give you an inside look at what it’s like to be part of the company.

José Cárdenas: Fiesta Mexicana Dance Company has been in the valley for almost 20 years. The company is the official dance group for the city of Phoenix. In sounds of cultura SOC, producer Yahaira Jacquez and videographer Juan Magana give us an inside look at what it's like to be part of the company.

Diana Camarillo: Our dance company is called Fiesta Mexicana Dance Company.

Alan Zavaleta: It helped me a lot drastically.

Diana Camarillo: We have dances from all over Mexico and every region is different and has their own unique style in the foot work, in the costumes. And then of course we have all the Latin American countries, we have Central America and we have South America-- we want to educate our community and our audience. Wow, if we see influences of Africa -- or Asia, and then the community sees, well, you know what? There's more to the Hispanic culture than what we usually think. We try to be as professional as possible. So that when our artists are on stage, you can attract attention and say, wow, in our community, these are kids that are our neighbors that are going to our schools. They are doing something very positive in the community. They are showing a part of a culture that maybe we don't know and we don't understand. Different generations that have been here many years, still that's part of the culture. They want to make sure that their kids continue and learn about their culture so that they don't lose touch with where they are come from.

Alan Zavaleta: This whole experience has changed my perspectives and everything and I really am proud from where I come from and all.

Diana Camarillo: We are also a nonprofit organization. And so we don't ever close our doors to anyone who really wants to be a part of this. A lot of the dance schools in the valley are very expensive. So this gives everyone a chance to be a part of something and try it at least. If they see it's not for them but at least they tried something that maybe normally wouldn't have had the chance to do. When you dedicate yourself fully, it's a lot of work. And some parents sometimes get frustrated because, oh, no, classes every day and we have performances every weekend. It's tough. It's tough on families. But as time goes on and they see how their kids change, maybe they are more outgoing, they are not as afraid, they are not as shy. They realize that it is something very special for their kids.

Alan Zavaleta: It's actually it's hard. It's hard work. Like I've done a lot of stuff, and this is like one. Most hardest things I've done.

Diana Camarillo: I think we can find out through dance that we have much more in common.

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