Maria Valdovinos is the instructor of the Ballet Folklorico “Raíces Mexicanas” (roots of Mexico), and a dancer with over fifteen years of experience.
Valdovinos felt in love with the fast whirling skirts, the vibrant colors and the movement of the dancers during a ballet folklorico performance at her Elementary School.
“My older sister and I loved what we saw that day,” says Valdovinos, “since then my mom started to look into places for us to learn how to dance and perform, I was 11 by the time that I was able to get into a group.”
“Ballet Folklorico makes me feel proud and happy, I been dancing for fifteen years now, more than half of my life,” says Valdovinos.
In 2007 Valdovinos formed her own dancing group, “Raíces Mexicanas” and currently teaches over 60 students with kids as young as three years old.
“ I became an instructor because I just love kids and teaching, even when I was part of my previous ballet, I always had others come to and ask me how do a step , they were actually the ones that encouraged me to start my own group,” explains Valdovinos.
“When you perform you get the enthusiasm of the public and it is very tiring to dance through a whole performance, says Valdovinos as she explains how the difference from a performer to an instructor, “when you have a group of students, when you see your work out there and knowing that the kids love what they are doing, is a great feeling.”
Ballet folklorico dancing combines elements of the Mexican history with music and body movement.
Valdovinos currently offers low cost classes at the Honorific Mexican Commission, known as “La Jamaica” and at the Teen Center of Stockton.
“I want make sure that every can afford it and that we provide a safe and fun place for the kids to be at.”