When Francisco Nevarez-Burgueño, director of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Folklórico, first meets with his five- and six-year-old beginning dancers, he tells them to clap. After their typically subdued clapping he tells them, “No, no, no ... really clap! LOUD!” Once they clap to his satisfaction, Nevarez then shows these budding dancers how to make that same resounding sound with their feet.
What he loves most about teaching Mexican folk dancing, Nevarez told The Sopris Sun in an interview earlier this month, are “the faces of the kids when they learn how capable they are to move their bodies and stomp their feet and do it with strength and confidence.”
At the Colorado Creative Industries (CCI) Summit in Carbondale on May 5-6, Nevarez (or Paco, as most people call him) will be awarded a Governor’s Creative Leadership Award for his work with folklórico. According to the CCI website, three such awards are presented each year to “community members that have demonstrated a significant commitment to Colorado’s creative landscape through civic leadership and volunteerism ...”.
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