Ballet Folklorico de Durango

Ballet Folklorico de Durango dancers near clocktower

Ballet Folklorico De Durango at Clocktower

A K-20 cultural arts dance program

Ballet Folklorico de Durango is a cultural arts program promoting Hispanic culture and welcoming students of all ages and backgrounds to learn and perform traditional Mexican Folklore dances.

El Centro de Muchos Colores Hispano Resource Center provides the dance space and offers free classes for FLC students. Opportunities for mentorship and leadership include travel and attendance at a professional Folklorico dance conference.

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Join Us!

The Ballet Folklorico de Durango program welcomes students ages 5 and up to join in weekly dance practices and occasional performances. Any student or community member can join regardless of ethnicity, language, or dance abilities.

Ballet Folklorico de Durango dancers at amphitheaterWe operate on the same schedule as FLC, with two semesters per academic year.

The first begins in August with performances for Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations, Sept. 15-Oct. 15.

The second semester begins in January, with performances for Cinco de Mayo.

Practice is held at El Centro every Tuesday from 5:30-6:30pm for beginners, and Thursday from 5:30-7:30pm for more advanced dancers.

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DANCE INSTRUCTOR: Melisa Smith (she/her/ella)

Melisa Smith (she/her/ella)Melisa Smith is local to Durango, graduating from Durango High School in 2007 and Fort Lewis College in 2012. She lives and works in Durango, applying her Bachelor’s degrees in International Business and Spanish.

She has been involved with Ballet Folklorico from a young age, getting her start under DLEC-later Del Alma and studying under instructor Jennifer Cossey.

Melisa brought the dance group to Fort Lewis College in 2007, flourishing under the leadership of her younger sister, Kathy Smith, and instructor Jennifer Cossey.

Melisa’s teaching style is hands-on; she believes it is necessary to know the background and culture of the dances while maintaining a high level of fun.

"Dance shouldn’t feel like just any other class. It should lift the spirits and be enjoyable not only for the audience but for the dancers as well. I believe that when the dancers are having fun, it shows!"

OUR FOUNDING INSTRUCTOR 2008-2014: Jennifer Cossey (she/her/ella)

Jennifer Cossey (she/her/ella)Starting at age four, Jennifer Cossey began learning Mexican Folklorico dance. She now has more than 15 years of experience as a dance instructor and choreographer, and has been teaching Durango students the art of Mexican Folkloric dance since 2004.

Originally from Houston, TX, Jennifer moved to Durango in October 2003. Being so far from home at first was difficult because she missed family and friends, but she started teaching Ballet Folklorico de Durango the next year, and has been actively involved in the Latino community since then.

"The dance group, along with El Centro Hispano Center, has introduced me to some really amazing people and most importantly has given me strong ties within the Hispanic community here in Durango, feels like family. In 2005, I started attending Fort Lewis College. Being a new mom, a wife, and student was at times very challenging, but very rewarding".

Graduating with a degree in Communications in December 2008, Jennifer worked in Durango before joining the FLC radio station as KDUR Office manager, and is now the Office coordinator of the President Office at FLC, having these great opportunities to give students another way to see Mexico and the rich culture that it offers.

Sharing her experience for Mexican Folkloric dance is what she does best as she helps others explore Mexican folkloric dance and its heritage through lectures, music, dance demonstrations and lessons.

Contact us

El Centro de Muchos Colores

Location: Student Union, Room 40 (downstairs)
Phone: 970-247-7654

Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Assistant Director

Gyana Gomar (she/her/ella)
Phone: 970-247-7290