Sunday, November 7, 2010

Traditional Flamenco Dance in the Heart of Boyle Heights

Spanish for Success brings you a documentary story of the Flamenco dancer from East L.A. Today we got a glimpse of the day-to-day lifestyle of Rocio Ponce.

Focal Finder Production spent the afternoon getting to know Rocio, and her clients. Below are some images from the dance class. Check back with us often, and will be sharing up-to-date information from performances, events, and interviews. Videos coming soon.

Study Spanish and Flamenco in Seville, Spain

Rocio Ponce has dedicated body and soul to flamenco (and all forms of Spanish dance) for the past 18 years (spanish classical dance for 26 years), & other different forms of dance since she was 8 years old. A native of East Los Angeles & raised by her Veracruzano father, she has never forgotten her roots and is a firm believer in giving back. Toward that end, she has found that the arts are an important way to help at-risk teenagers in gang-infested neighborhoods achieve their highest potential. She uses the artistry and discipline of flamenco as a method for kids and teens to learn how to overcome challenges in their lives (and have fun at the same time!) through teaching or hosting activities in flamenco: dance, singing, percussion, & guitar.

Through programs sponsored by the City of Los Angeles, Rocio has taught in South Central Los Angeles; Watts; East Los Angeles; Lincoln Heights; Mid-City; Compton; Boyle Heights; Highland Park; and other districts; by introducing the children of these neighborhoods to a different cultural heritage, she teaches them about another environment outside of theirs. Rocio has also worked alongside with the California State Department of Mental Health teaching skills to abused children through dance movement therapy.

In addition to that, Rocio was invited to Z├╝rich, Switzerland by their ‘department of children’s mental health’ to go into a children’s group home facility, for sexually abused children, to share & train employees, with hands on with the children, in ‘creative dance & theatre/theatrical therapy’ instructional methodical ideas, which included anger management skills, social skills, etiquette skills, & other skills to teach the children to open themselves up by using all elements of urban pop-culture, poetry, body stylized shapes & forms, musical theatre, skits, flamenco dance, & modern to creative dance which would slowly & safely have them face their fears through routinely performances.

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