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The Ballet Folklorico Tlanese is an organization that was founded in Salem, Oregon 2004. It all started when Paola Sumoza one of the co-founders of the ballet attended North Salem High School. She was part of a club called M.E.Ch.A (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan). Every year the M.E.Ch.A club was in charge of organizing the 5 de Mayo assembly for the whole school. Paola had been in a dance group that would specialized in Mexican traditional dances, where she learned how to dance. She decided to put together some dances to present them on the day of the assembly. The day that all the M.E.Ch.A members were waiting for had come. The event was a total success and everyone liked the traditional dances. Therefore, the news spread quickly through the community that there was a new ballet group that would do traditional Mexican dances. As a result, the dancers were being invited to dance to different cultural events around the community. One of those events was the most special, because they were asked if they had a name, or something that would represent them. They had never thought about it, it was until that moment that the three co-founders Mr. Margarito Sumoza, Paola Sumoza and Ma.Victoria Sumoza started brain storming ideas. They found one and decided to name the group Ballet Folklorico Tlanese. The word “Tlanese” comes from a Nahuatl language which is the language that the Aztec would speak, and it mean “sunrise”. This word was very meaningful to what they were doing because it was a new beginning for the group and dancers. The Ballet Folklorico Tlanese was growing and because of this it had to expand the ages. It was not only a dance group for teenagers,now it was for younger kids as well. Theco-founders noticed that more people would start to put their kids into the ballet group so they could learn more about the Mexican culture and traditions. That meant that they were doing something right. We are now in 2015 and the years have gone by quickly since they first started. However, the Ballet Folklorico Tlanese keeps growing and continues to motivate the new generations to learn more about the Mexican culture and traditions so they can feel proud of their roots. The dance group is about to celebrate its 10th anniversary, ten years of a lot of learning, struggles but also success. We owe it to everyone that has been supporting the dance group unconditionally such as; dancers, parents, teachers and the community. They are the ones that make this Ballet Folklorico Tlanese strong, to continue educating our community about the Mexican culture and its traditions.
We, Salem Oregon's Ballet Folklorico Tlanese and North Salem High School M.E.Ch.A. Club invite you to our third annual Day of the Dead celebration, not to be missed. This event is free and open to the community, invite your friends and family. Join us on Sunday October 30th at North Salem High School from 12:00pm to 4:00pm