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CSUN hosts the CSU Folklórico Showcase for the first time

Known for performing regional dances from Mexico, the Ballet Folklórico Aztlán de CSUN is no stranger to cultural dance. Since its establishment in 1969, the student-run organization has focused on...

Known for performing regional dances from Mexico, the Ballet Folklórico Aztlán de CSUN is no stranger to cultural dance. Since its establishment in 1969, the student-run organization has focused on promoting Mexican and Chicana/o heritage through ballet folklórico, or folkloric dance.

Last Saturday, the BFA de CSUN participated in the 9th CSU Folklórico Showcase. The concert was founded by CSU Fresno professor Victor Torres to inspire Latinx high school students to pursue higher education while continuing a passion for dance, according to CSUN Funder. For the first time ever, CSUN hosted the showcase, which occurred at Plaza del Sol Performance Hall.

“So, it started in Fresno, then other schools had taken on the responsibility,” explained the chair of BFA de CSUN, Eloisa Hernandez. “Then, there was a pause for the pandemic and no one else opened up that conversation again, so we decided to invite [other CSUs] and host it here.”

For BFA de CSUN’s advisor, Diana Cabral, it was exciting to bring the 9th CSU Folklórico Showcase home.

“It’s a very exciting thing for us,” said Cabral. “We’ve participated many times in the past at other Cal States as an invited group, but now we’re hosting it, so it’s exciting and we’re very good organizers. I will say that.”

The student-ran organization first began preparations for the showcase last year.

“It was already October when we kind of started organizing behind the scenes,” said Hernandez. “We had to start inviting groups and give them a deadline to accept. We [also] started preparing our sets, like learning the new regions, because these are regions we haven’t performed in years.”

During the event, BFA de CSUN performed two Mexican regional dances, Sones de Jerez from Zacatecas and Sotavento from Veracruz. Five other CSUs performed in the showcase as well. The campuses included CSU Fresno, CSU Long Beach, CSU Los Angeles, San Jose State University, and CSU Fullerton.

Although the CSU Folklórico Showcase has concluded for the year, the BFA de CSUN does not plan to exit the stage just yet. The organization will start preparations for upcoming events in the next few months.

“We’re going to be taking a little break, like two weeks, to give our dancers time to recover,” said Hernandez. “We do have a couple of performances lined up already. We have the USU Carnaval in April [and] there’s going to be a performance for [the Dream Center], UndocuGraduation.”

Despite its long-standing history, the BFA de CSUN continues to grow. For Hernandez, it’s the members’ passion for folklórico dance that keeps it going.

“I will say the dancers are probably one of the most passionate people I’ve ever met,” Hernandez said. “Folklórico dancers even more so because it’s connected to our culture… there’s tradition and there’s history, and so it’s just wanting to keep that alive that has led [the organization] to last so long.”

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