Folklorico dance program is moving to Carbondale |

Folklorico dance program is moving to Carbondale

Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson file photo

CARBONDALE, Colorado – A popular Mexican folk dance program that has taken its road show to schools throughout the Roaring Fork Valley for the past 11 years will now have a permanent home in Carbondale’s Third Street Center.

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s award-winning Folklorico program will soon move into a permanent dance studio at the Center, which is located in Carbondale’s former elementary school building.

The move was made possible by a gift from The Aspen Community Foundation. The new studio will also serve as a satellite location for the School of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.

“It’s a great match,” ASFB Executive Director Jean-Philippe Malaty said in a press release. “The Third Street Center will provide a wonderful environment, and our program will bring a good vibe and creative energy to the Center.”

The new space will provide dressing rooms and a professional dance floor for the Folklorico program, and serve as a downvalley location for the ballet school and professional dance company.

ASFB’s Folklorico outreach program began in 1999, providing a free, after-school arts program geared toward the valley’s Latino children. What began with 25 girls and one boy has grown to serve more than 100 students, grades 1-12, in Carbondale and Basalt.

“Using traditional Mexican folk dance as a tool, Folklorico inspires self-esteem, positive youth development, the crossing of cultural boundaries and community building,” according to the program’s mission.

The program is directed by Francisco Nevarez-Burguen. He called the new studio “the most exciting news,” especially after having transported sound systems and costumes from one valley school to another for the past 10 years.

“The schools have been great in accommodating us, but we were always limited to their schedules and whatever space they could offer at the time,” Nevarez-Burguen said. “The children are so happy to have a home.”

Malaty added that he likes that the new studio will be part of a new green facility similar in size and mission to Aspen’s Red Brick Arts Center.

“It’s so much in sync with the Carbondale community that it will really be a place of gathering,” he said. “And it’s big enough that we will be able to offer open rehearsals and previews of our professional ballet company as well.”

There will be an open house to celebrate the opening of the new dance studio, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3 (Carbondale’s First Friday). Those planning to attend should RSVP to 925-7175 by this Friday, Aug. 27.

In addition to Folklorico classes, the School of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet will offer ballet classes for children and adults at the new location beginning Sept. 7. For more information, visit

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