Individuality and uniqueness is apparent in the dances and choreography performed by St. Mary’s Ballet Folklorico. Although Jose Ruiz de la Torre was our first instructor, Jenna Cortez Aguirre is the current Director of instruction and choreography. Jenna first became a dancer in St. Mary’s as a child and learned from Jose. At a certain point, Jose felt that he could not teach anything more to Jenna and she became the instructor, although she has taken several breaks for family and education, she has continued to be involved in the instruction of the Folklorico over the years and has developed a strong program with creative choreography, and a culture of more experienced dancers participating in the instruction of newer, less experienced dancers. In this way, she has developed several of our dancers into capable and excellent instructors.
Currently, two of our instructors are dancers who have been with the Folklorico since they were 5 years old. Joshua Aguirre has developed into an excellent instructor who continues the quality that St. Mary’s is known for. He continues to further his education by attending conferences and bringing that information back to the Folklorico. Also assisting with instruction are Elyse Perez (who was a dancer many years ago and recently came back as a dancer, parent and an assistant instructor), and Desiree Rainbolt (she is the mother of 3 of our dancers and is fantastic with our beginning classes). Over the years we have had several past dancers as instructors of the Folklorico. Elizabeth (Cortez) Bates, Anna Gonzales, Marina (Gonzales) Jimenez, Cathy (Villa) Amparan and Elena (Hernandez) Gonzales have all taught for the Folklorico at some point. St. Mary’s has also invited guest instructors to teach new techniques and regions to our dancers which has helped St. Mary’s to continue to evolve and present new and exciting dances. Carlos Gallegos, Trini Saldaña, and most recently Hector Esparza are guest instructors that have contributed significantly to our current program.
Director of Instruction and Choreography