Valley studio uses dance to educate their students about Hispanic culture

Oct 11, 2021, 4:45 AM | Updated: 10:27 pm

PHOENIX — A Phoenix dance academy that has been in the Valley for more than two decades is dedicated to immersing students in Hispanic culture and history.

“We teach all the traditional, which are the pre-Hispanic,” Skye Valentine, a director at Ollin Yoliztli Dance Academy, told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

“We also teach the creative where we start creating the more structured chirographies and then contemporary.”

The students, as young as 3 years old, are taught traditional Ballet Folklorico and wear flowing bright-colored costumes that gracefully move with them as they dance across the hardwood floor.

“The style (of the costumes) generally has to do with the region,” Valentine said. “Whatever flowers were around, whatever colors of trees, whatever fibers they had, that’s how they created the costumes.”

He said what the studio teaches goes beyond choreography and costumes.

“We teach them where the dances come from and we also teach them who created the dances because sometimes people will say, ‘oh that’s a nice dance but why is called this?,'” Valentine said. “There’s a history behind it.”

His mom, Ana Bonilla, is the owner and director of the studio. She immigrated to the Valley from Mexico.

“What we see a lot on the surface is more of the aesthetic look now that we have but it really carries a lot more of the history of Mexico,” Bonilla said, translated by Valentine.

“That’s really why it was passed down because that’s how they passed on the traditions, so they wouldn’t be forgot.”

Valentine said students at the studio can become “a more educated individual as a whole about their culture and the origins of their families and their heritage.”

The two encourage people of all cultures and backgrounds to come to the studio and learn about the dance and the history behind Hispanic culture.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Getty Images Photo/Roberto Machado Noa)...

Police investigate death of 45-year-old woman shot in Phoenix

Police are investigating the death of a woman who died from a gunshot wound in Phoenix Friday night.
15 hours ago
FILE - In this Wednesday, May 27, 2020 file photo, Medical personnel adjust their personal protecti...

Arizona reports 2,482 new COVID-19 cases, 9 more deaths Saturday

Arizona health officials on Saturday reported 2,482 new COVID-19 cases and nine additional deaths from the disease.
15 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Woman dies after being struck by vehicle in Phoenix

An adult woman was killed after getting struck by a vehicle near the intersection of East McDowell Road and North 26th Street in Phoenix on Friday night.
15 hours ago
(Facebook photo/City of Phoenix, AZ USA)...

Phoenix adopts roadmap to cut emissions, reach net-zero goal by 2050

The city of Phoenix Tuesday approved a climate action plan with the goal of reaching net-zero by 2050 while also reducing 50% of emissions by 2030. 
15 hours ago
(Facebook photo/Special Olympics Arizona)...

Special Olympics Arizona to kick off fall games next weekend

More than 1,000 Special Olympics athletes across the state will head to the Valley next weekend to compete in the 2021 Fall Games presented by Casino Arizona.
15 hours ago
(Facebook photo/Holiday Light Experience - Salt River Fields)...

Tickets for Holiday Light Experience at Salt River Fields go on sale

People can begin buying their tickets now to the Holiday Light Experience at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale which is set to get underway in November.
15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Why fall maintenance is important for your heating system and A/C

It’s easy to ignore your heater and air conditioner when they’re working but the moment something breaks, you will likely regret not keeping up with maintenance. After all, if something goes wrong, you may be stuck with a repair that will take longer and be more expensive than simple maintenance.
Schwartz Laser Eye Center

How to sharpen your vision with elective procedures

Imagine opening your eyes in the morning and being able to see clearly. You wouldn’t have to wait to put on glasses or contacts, and there would be no more blurry showers nor forgetting where your glasses are.

More stroke patients eligible for acute treatment, thanks to research

Historically, patients underwent acute stroke treatments according to strict time guidelines. But thanks to recent advancements in stroke research, more patients are becoming candidates for clot-busting drugs and endovascular therapy at specialized centers like Barrow Neurological Institute.
Valley studio uses dance to educate their students about Hispanic culture