"Azatlan is part of the myth of Atlantis. It is the mythical ancient homeland of the Aztecs. In ancient maps, it shows the original location of Azatlan in the Southwestern United States, which includes all of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. The legend is that the Aztec people, who also called themselves the “Mexicas,” were led to the Valley of Mexico by a priest.”
Ballet Folklorico Azatlan was founded in January 2001 and is a non-profit youth and young adult dance organization dedicated to preserving the authenticity of Mexican cultural dances. It is home-based in West Covina, California and sponsored by the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District. Classes and rehearsals are held at Baldwin Academy School.
The ages of the dancers range from seven up and are all dedicated, hard-working individuals with a goal to present authentic and beautiful dances from Mexico. Our second most important goal is to instill sound and positive guidance to our impressionable youth and young adults not only about dance but also about life in general.
The Director, Lani Almanza-Marshall, gives instruction in the traditional manner based on her experience with her former directors, Benjamin Hernandez and Patricia Barragan of Ballet Folklorico Mexicapan, and Alex Vargas of Ballet Folklorico America (a youth dance group that was based in Santa Fe Springs, California). Mr. Vargas was also a former member of Ballet Folklorico Mexicapan.
When Ballet Folklorico Azatlan dancers are not busy with performances, the group enjoys other activities such as, outings for lunch, movies, camping, mountain cabin getaways or summer pool parties. We really are a family and treasure the relationship of each dancer and their parents.