Pacifico Dancers share heritage, culture with Bowman students
The Pacifico Dance Company performs at Bowman High School in Canyon Country on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal
By Christina Cox
Friday, February 23rd, 2018

Wearing traditional Mexican costumes and headpieces, six Pacifico Dancers performed on the Bowman High School quad Friday to promote cultural understanding among the student community.

Based in Los Angeles, the nonprofit, international dance company travels to schools throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties to enlighten diverse communities, provide insights into the Latino heritage and further an appreciation of present-day Mexico.

Jazmin Duran and Daniel Rodriguez of the Pacifico Dance Company perform at Bowman High School in Canyon Country on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

“The outreach program is done through The Music Center and schools have a list of performers to pick and choose from,” said Pacifico Dancer Lorena Meza, who has been with the company for seven years. “Every now and again we might get a request for something specific to perform, but it has to be in our repertoire.”

At Bowman, the Pacifico Dancers performed dances from five different Mexican states: Michoacan, Guerrero, Veracruz, Chihuahua and Jalisco.

The Pacifico Dance Company performs at Bowman High School in Canyon Country on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

“The majority of the students that we have that are coming from the states are coming from Michoacan and Guerrero, so today was very, very special because the students have the opportunity to go back to their roots,” said Rosa Villanueva, a bilingual assistant at Bowman who helped bring the Pacifico Dancers to the school.

For each dance, the performers sported costumes specific to the region and used their bodies and feet to tell stories and make their own music.

The Pacifico Dance Company performs at Bowman High School in Canyon Country on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

A dance from Michoacan, a single dancer performed to a happy and upbeat song while wearing a colorful costume and shaking a rattle. The dance represented a family celebrating the end of a harvest.

Another dance from Veracruz included a dancer dressed in a long white gown and a large comb who made music by stomping her feet.

Samantha Zendejas of the Pacifico Dance Company performs at Bowman High School in Canyon Country on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

Educators at Bowman noted that they hoped the performance taught students about a different culture and helped others reconnect to their roots.

“I am from Michoacan, my husband is from Guerrero, and I practice dance.  I teach quinceaneras to dance and I’m very proud of my roots,” Villanueva said.  “It’s very important right now because you hear a lot of things in the news and hear that it might not be good to head back.  When you know there is good things you can make the connection, you can go back, you can still believe it and to still be proud.  You can be any ethnicity and find the ways to be proud of that.”

Lorena Meza narrates as the Pacifico Dance Company performs at Bowman High School in Canyon Country on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

The performers also hope their lesson and dances inspired others to pursue their passions, whether that is in dance or in another field.

“Within every art form and within a passion there’s hard work and dedication, but anything is possible,” Meza said. “As an adult, I’m a professional dancer and I didn’t think I was going to be one, I thought I was going to be a doctor. So as long as you follow your passion and your dreams, it can lead you down avenues you didn’t go down before.”

The Pacifico Dance Company performs at Bowman High School in Canyon Country on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

ccox@signalscv.com
661-287-5575
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_

About the author

Christina Cox

Christina Cox

Christina Cox is a multimedia journalist covering education, community and breaking news in the Santa Clarita Valley. She joined The Signal as a staff writer in August 2016.

The Pacifico Dance Company performs at Bowman High School in Canyon Country on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

Pacifico Dancers share heritage, culture with Bowman students

Wearing traditional Mexican costumes and headpieces, six Pacifico Dancers performed on the Bowman High School quad Friday to promote cultural understanding among the student community.

Based in Los Angeles, the nonprofit, international dance company travels to schools throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties to enlighten diverse communities, provide insights into the Latino heritage and further an appreciation of present-day Mexico.

Jazmin Duran and Daniel Rodriguez of the Pacifico Dance Company perform at Bowman High School in Canyon Country on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

“The outreach program is done through The Music Center and schools have a list of performers to pick and choose from,” said Pacifico Dancer Lorena Meza, who has been with the company for seven years. “Every now and again we might get a request for something specific to perform, but it has to be in our repertoire.”

At Bowman, the Pacifico Dancers performed dances from five different Mexican states: Michoacan, Guerrero, Veracruz, Chihuahua and Jalisco.

The Pacifico Dance Company performs at Bowman High School in Canyon Country on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

“The majority of the students that we have that are coming from the states are coming from Michoacan and Guerrero, so today was very, very special because the students have the opportunity to go back to their roots,” said Rosa Villanueva, a bilingual assistant at Bowman who helped bring the Pacifico Dancers to the school.

For each dance, the performers sported costumes specific to the region and used their bodies and feet to tell stories and make their own music.

The Pacifico Dance Company performs at Bowman High School in Canyon Country on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

A dance from Michoacan, a single dancer performed to a happy and upbeat song while wearing a colorful costume and shaking a rattle. The dance represented a family celebrating the end of a harvest.

Another dance from Veracruz included a dancer dressed in a long white gown and a large comb who made music by stomping her feet.

Samantha Zendejas of the Pacifico Dance Company performs at Bowman High School in Canyon Country on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

Educators at Bowman noted that they hoped the performance taught students about a different culture and helped others reconnect to their roots.

“I am from Michoacan, my husband is from Guerrero, and I practice dance.  I teach quinceaneras to dance and I’m very proud of my roots,” Villanueva said.  “It’s very important right now because you hear a lot of things in the news and hear that it might not be good to head back.  When you know there is good things you can make the connection, you can go back, you can still believe it and to still be proud.  You can be any ethnicity and find the ways to be proud of that.”

Lorena Meza narrates as the Pacifico Dance Company performs at Bowman High School in Canyon Country on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

The performers also hope their lesson and dances inspired others to pursue their passions, whether that is in dance or in another field.

“Within every art form and within a passion there’s hard work and dedication, but anything is possible,” Meza said. “As an adult, I’m a professional dancer and I didn’t think I was going to be one, I thought I was going to be a doctor. So as long as you follow your passion and your dreams, it can lead you down avenues you didn’t go down before.”

The Pacifico Dance Company performs at Bowman High School in Canyon Country on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

ccox@signalscv.com
661-287-5575
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_

About the author

Christina Cox

Christina Cox

Christina Cox is a multimedia journalist covering education, community and breaking news in the Santa Clarita Valley. She joined The Signal as a staff writer in August 2016.

Upcoming Events

Jan
12
Fri
all-day Domes – Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library
Domes – Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library
Jan 12 – May 11 all-day
Domes - Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Local resident Naomi Young, is the artist featured in the latest exhibit at the Old Town Newhall Library. The exhibit features original paintings and multimedia by Young, an artist born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel,[...]
Feb
1
Thu
all-day “The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarit... @ Valencia Library
“The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarit... @ Valencia Library
Feb 1 – Jun 1 all-day
“The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarita,” Art Exhibit @ Valencia Library  | Santa Clarita | California | United States
“THE GOLDEN OAKS OF SANTA CLARITA” ART EXHIBIT BY BRAD SERGI ON DISPLAY AT THE VALENCIA LIBRARY Library hours: Mon-Thu 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Fri 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. – 5[...]
Feb
14
Wed
all-day Tickets Available Now for 41st A... @ Dodger Stadium
Tickets Available Now for 41st A... @ Dodger Stadium
Feb 14 – May 12 all-day
Tickets Available Now for 41st Annual SCV Dodger Day @ Dodger Stadium | Los Angeles | California | United States
SANTA CLARITA DODGER DAY TICKETS ON SALE NOW! Tickets Start at $25 and Benefit Local Schools and Non-Profits It’s time to step up to the plate! The Santa Clarita City Council invites residents to purchase[...]
Apr
19
Thu
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 19 – Apr 22 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
Apr
20
Fri
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 20 – Apr 23 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
7:00 pm Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Apr 20 @ 7:00 pm
Hart High School Presents 'Bye, Bye Birdie' @ Hart High school Auditorium | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Spring Musical Coming April 2018! Hart High Theatre is proud to present Bye Bye Birdie! April 19, 20, 27 & 28 @ 7pm April 28 & 29 @ 1pm When the draft selects rock star[...]
Apr
21
Sat
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 21 – Apr 24 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
10:00 am Astronomy Day @ Valencia Library
Astronomy Day @ Valencia Library
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
The Local Group Astronomy Club and The Santa Clarita Public Library present our free annual Astronomy Day Celebration. We will be at the Valencia branch of the Santa Clarita Public Library from 10am to 3pm.[...]
10:00 am Resource Parents Needed to Foste... @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222
Resource Parents Needed to Foste... @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Resource Parents Needed to Foster or Foster-Adopt a Child @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222 | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Adoption is a meaningful way for individuals and couples to fulfill their dream of parenting.  There are approximately 64,000 children in foster care in California.  Los Angeles County’s foster care population exceeds 21,000 children with[...]
10:00 am The City of Lancaster’s 27th Ann... @ Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park
The City of Lancaster’s 27th Ann... @ Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
The City of Lancaster’s 27th Annual California Poppy Festival, Sat & Sun @ Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park | Lancaster | California | United States
On April 21 and 22, the City of Lancaster will host the 27th annual California Poppy Festival™ at Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park (43063 10th Street West). Drawing more than 40,000 attendees and spanning 35[...]