ARIZONA NEWS

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.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
KTAR.com

Arizona Secretary of State’s Office files lawsuit against Cochise County over elections

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs' Office filed a lawsuit Monday evening against the Cochise County Board of Supervisors.
22 hours ago
(Queen Creek Photo)...
KTAR.com

Ground broken on next phase of Mansel Carter Oasis Park in Queen Creek

Ground has been broken on the next phase of a park in Queen Creek that is expected to be completed by late next year.
22 hours ago
(Arizona Department of Transportation Photo)...
Kevin Stone

Weeknight closures on I-17 north of Phoenix will impede traffic for months

Interstate 17 north of Phoenix will be closed several nights a week well into next year so crews can blast rocks to make space for new lanes.
22 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Maricopa County)...
KTAR.com

Maricopa County certifies 2022 midterm election, leaving Cochise as lone holdout

Maricopa County certified the 2022 midterm election, leaving Cochise County as the lone holdout ahead of Monday's deadline.
22 hours ago
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)...
Danny Shapiro

Ron Wolfley says Arizona Cardinals were hard-luck losers against Chargers

The Arizona Cardinals lost a heartbreaker on Sunday to the Los Angeles Chargers, a defeat Ron Wolfley said was tough luck.
22 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/U.S. Dog Agility Association)...
KTAR.com

Dogs will have run of the place in Scottsdale at Agility World Games

There will be no dogging it this week in Scottsdale when nearly 500 of the most athletic canines in the country will compete to be the best at the Cynosport Dog Agility World Games.
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Valley studio uses dance to educate their students about Hispanic culture