Juanita S. Lopez
Juanita S. Lopez is the Folklorico Advisor to Ballet Folklorico Azatlan. As such, she gives dance instruction, lectures the group on Mexican customs and culture, tradition, and history of dances. She is extremely knowledgeable in all aspects of presentation of Mexican Folklorico dance and the music of Mexico. She is the “heart and soul” of Folklorico and her main objective is to preserve that culture.
“Juani,” as she is affectionately known, has been a professional dancer for twenty-five years and was a veteran dancer with “Ballet Folklorico Mexicapan” and “Danza Teocalt.” She has given dance instruction and workshops for over thirty years and her experience is wide-ranged. For fourteen years, she taught dance for the L.A. School District, and at various parks and recreation centers, including the “Performing Tree” under the direction of Emilio Pulido, formerly the Inner City Cultural Awareness Program directed by Carmen Maytonera. Juani also assisted in the choreography and also danced in Carmen Zapata’s Bilingual Foundation of the Arts play, “Rosalba y Los Llaveros.” She currently gives Folklorico, tap and ballet dance instruction for adults and children in the South El Monte Community Center.
She studied tap and ballet with Carlos Ochoa, tap & jazz with Pat Lefler, and jazz under Pauline Sugine and ballet under Tony Barberio at ELA College. Juani also studied with the renowned Professor Rafael Zamarripa, the former general director of “Ballet Folklorico of the University of Guadalajara.” Apart from dance, Juani majored in Art and Fashion Design, and Illustration and received her Associate Arts degree from ELA College/LA Trade Tech.
Juani is on the Folklorico Advisory Board of “Moziaco Folk Ensemble” and is a member of ANGF. She attends various dance workshops to expand her knowledge in Mexican dance, especially the annual Las Cruces Mariachi Conference in Tucson, Arizona hosted by Rafael Zamarripa and Jose Tena, and the Tucson Mariachi Conference hosted by Rafael Zamarripa and Nati Cano of Mariachi Los Camperos. In addition to all her accomplishments, she has toured with Mariachi Los Camperos and has judged various folklorico dance competitions.