Living the Culture of Mexico through the Dance

Join Jonathan Trejo and Kareli Montoya in this
Special Celebration of Mexican Folkloric Dance!

August 2026, 2017

Jonathan Trejo in Class and Performance
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Mexico is home to a variety of climates and fauna and flora, and has a diversity of music and dance that has made it culturally rich and full of color. Mexican folkloric dance is a wide mixture of cultures, including Arab, Christian, African and Caribbean influences that fuse to create the immense scale of traditions of dance and music — celebrated during holidays across the length and breadth of the country. It is this great cultural mosaic that has identified Mexico throughout the world.

During this week we will focus on Mexican folk dance in two areas: a traditional section that will include dances from various regions of Mexico, with a variety of rhythms; and a creative section where we will explore Ravel’s Boléro, Huapango de Moncayo (a symphonic work by José Pablo Moncayo), and Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers where the motives for movement are inspired by the aesthetics of Maestro Rafael Zamarripa.

We will conclude the week with a formal Mexican Folklórico performance on Saturday, August 26, at the Union Hall in Vienna, Maine.

Comments from dancers who have taken Jonathan’s classes :

“My experience with the workshops that you have given me have been nothing but a huge pleasure! You are very professional, knowledgeable, and know how to make the class fun and entertaining, and above all, super respectful! I am immensely happy with what you have taught me, for it has helped me grow so much as a folklorico dancer. You have inspired me to continue growing in the field of folkorico, and I am sure you will continue to do so for others!”  —Victor Alvarez, dancer, Ballet Folklórico of Los Angeles

“When you led at Bearnstow I felt you were very charismatic and clear. Very versatile with many techniques that reach out to a broad range of dance styles and levels. I especially loved the physical consistency of your Horton class—it challenged me. Your class for Adriana was unexpected and broadened my understanding of the capacity for dance and empathy. I was also impressed by the way you engaged the Day Campers in their class—you clearly introduced fundamental technique while having fun; they all left smiling.”  —Ellen Oliver, dancer and choreographer, Resident Artist at Bearnstow 2016

“Jonathan hace un par de años más o menos cuando te conocí, simplemente el saber que eras alumno del gran Maestro Rafael Zamarripa, me entusiasmó muchísimo. Después de integrarme a uno de tus talleres, me fascinaste! Eres simplemente exce­lente como maestro; mucha técnica, mucho enfoque en el cuerpo total y súper ejemplo a seguir. Muy profesional y estricto! Mi hija Citlali opina lo mismo!”  —Adriana Martinez, former folklorico dancer, California

“Mi experiencia con él ha sido bastante satisfactoria, enriquecedora y por qué no formativa, su metodología para la enseñanza de la danza en la técnica Horton, es bastante buena e interesante, con usted aprendí a mover y accionar partes de mi cuerpo que muy pocas veces utilizamos de manera consiente, el desarrollo de la clase es emocionante y de forma gradual el nivel de complejidad que se maneja en la misma, aprendí demasiado de usted ya que ahora tengo una enorme curiosidad por ahondar más en esta técnica, le agradezco Maestro Jonathan excelente Licenciado en Danza Escénica orgullo de nuestra alma mater Universidad de Colima.”  —Gustavo Caudillo, bailarín profesional y Licenciado en Danza Escénica

Jonathan Trejo, from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, is a professional dancer at Ballet Folklórico of the University of Colima, Mexico, and is a consultant, choreographer and honorary assistant director for Ballet Folklórico of Los Angeles. He also teaches art in elementary school in Colima. He has a bachelor’s degree in Art with major in Stage Dance from the University of Colima.

Jonathan has been dancing his entire life. After beginning foklorico with a small group in his hometown, he began his study as professional at the University of Colima with the great Mexican artist Rafael Zamarripa (choreographer, sculptor, artist, director). From there, he continued with several courses, workshops and seminars with such masters as Christine Dakin, Kazuko Hirabayashi, Julius Brewster-Cotton, Duane Gosa, among others.

Kareli Montoya and Jonathan Trejo

Jonathan has been teaching and promoting the Mexican folk dance and Zapateado tech­nique in California, Nevada and Texas as well as in Mexico. He specializes in the train­ing of Mexican folk dancers, dance for children, stage lighting, and in creating movement from the exploration of emotion and energy.

Kareli Montoya’s career in the folklórico and mariachi world began at the young age of seven at a community park in the city of Commerce, California. Throughout her childhood Kareli had the fortune of learning from the best instructors in California and the U.S., including Maria Venegas (founder of the Ballet Folklórico del Sur de California), and folklorico pioneer Benjamin Hernandez (founding member of the Ballet Folklórico de la Universidad de Guadalajara and founder of the professional company Mexicapan). At the age of twelve, Kareli was invited to form part of the professional dance company Danza Teocalt, directed by Miguel Angel Diaz, where she was given the opportunity to tour with Grammy Award–Winning Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano. At age fifteen she became the youngest dancer ever given the opportunity to perform at the legendary La Fonda de Los Camperos.

In 2009, Kareli and three other dance colleagues founded Folklor Pasión Mexicana, a professional dance company. While in this company she performed in the 2011 Tournament of Roses Parade, the Santa Barbara Mariachi Festival, and shared the stage with various famous mariachi bands such as Mariachi Vargas and Mariachi Los Camperos. In 2011, after graduating from California State University, Los Angeles with a degree in Social Work, Kareli travelled to Colima, Mexico where she studied and performed with the internationally known Ballet Folklórico de la Universidad de Colima directed by folklórico icon and sculptor Rafael Zamarripa. After returning from Colima, Kareli founded Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles in 2011 and founded BFLA Performing Arts Academy, currently known as the Ballet Folklorico Company.

Kareli has co-produced six concerts for Star Entertainment, a non-profit production company owned by Dr. Raul Ruiz, which has created high quality cultural concerts for over ten years. Kareli has choreographed over 50 original pieces for her dance company Mitu, Lilit Hovhannisyan, the San Bernardino Symphony, and the Culver City Symphony. Get to know Maestra Kareli through her Folklorico Blog and Tutorials!
Download flier for this event (PDF):
English version or Spanish version

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Sign up for this special celebration now:  Registration Form — Summer 2017