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Irene Hernandez, Founder/Executive Director


 Irene Hernández has over 25 years of dance experience.  She was fortunate enough to have trained with Sandra Nicolas, Director and Founder of Grupo Xochitlán, for 17 years.  Sandra has been, and remains, her biggest influence in the art of folklórico.

    Irene has used her talent and skills in teaching folklórico to Lakewood High School and Redondo Union High School students for Cinco de Mayo and international dance recitals. She has also conducted folklorico workshops in Las Vegas & Wyoming and was the guest instructor at East Los Angeles College in August 2006. In addition she was asked to be a judge in the 2005 Escencia de México folklórico competition alongside Amalia Hernández's daughter, Viviana Basanta Hernández.

    She founded Grupo Folklórico Sabor de México in 1999 through the City of Carson's Parks and Recreation program, replacing, coincidentally, her mentor, Sandra, who had decided to retire earlier that year.  These were big zapatos to fill. Since beginning with only 3 students, her group has grown to over 80 folkloristas with whom to share her passion.

    Irene continues to educate herself by attending workshops and training under master teachers such as Juan Gil Martínez Tadeo, who trained her in the art of Calabaceados, the traditional dances of Baja California Norte.  Tadeo personally invited Irene to showcase her dancers at the Calabaceado Festival in Mexico in May 2004.

    She continues to have the privilege to teach at every opportunity whether it be waltzes for XV's or  weddings.   She also serves on the Danzantes Unidos of California Board as a Los Angeles folklorico representative and Secretary and has helped to organize the DUF conferences.

Irene has also been an instructor for the Gardena High School Bilingual Ballet Folklórico (under the direction of Linda Ritchie-Daza) working alongside Rosalie "Dancin'" Deverona, Director of Fiesta Grupo Folklórico, and Julio César Flores, Director of Ballet Folklórico Mixteco.  She feels honored to work with great people.

Irene graduated from college with a degree in Liberal Studies.  She has been a High School  Educator since 1994.  In addition, she has been a  folklorico instructor for Santee Education Complex in Los Angeles, and St. Joseph High School in Lakewood.  She is very grateful to have had the opportunity to train these schools.

In April 2006, she was awarded 1st Place for Best Costume Design at the Costa Brava/Barcelona International Dance Awards. 

She is very proud to have received the key to the City of Carson as the director of Grupo Folklórico Sabor de Mexico on May 2, 2006.  

In July of 2006 she was chosen by Saddleback Valley Unified School District to be the Artist-in-Residence folklorico instructor for the Dual Immersion Program.

She is also very pleased to have been recognized by Congress and the House of Representative at a reception on August 5, 2006.

New to her resume is her debut as MAESTRA for Danzantes Unidos 2007 in Whittier.  She taught Chihuahua Polkas.

She also conducted a short lecture on the historical influences of Mexico to Hawaii at Roosevelt High School in Honolulu, Hawaii.  In addition, she conducted a folklorico workshop at Roosevelt as well.  Her dancers partnered up with the students and they were exposed to Azteca, Calabaceados & Sinaloa.

Irene has returned as instructor to the Gardena High School Folklorico in November 2007.

In addition, Irene was hand selected to start a foklorico program at USC as well.

In 2009  her schedule included  joining the instruction staff at Ballet Folklorico Amor de Mexico in Stanton.

She opened up her own dance studio in June 2009 in Torrance.

Private workshops have been taught by our Director in Italy, Mexico City, Hawaii, California, Nevada, Wyoming and New Mexico.

The following is a partial list of maestros that Irene has studied with:

  • Maestro Zenon B.-Puebla

  • Maestro Tadeo M.-Baja California Norte

  • Maestro Manuel F.-Oaxaca

  • Maestro Manuel N.-Jalisco

  • Maestra Daniela L.-Veracruz Antiguo

  • Maestra Rubi O.-Fandango de Veracruz

  • Maestro Martin C.-Sonora Bronco

  • Maestro Efrain P.-Nuevo Leon y Baja California Norte

  • Maestro Luis R.-San Luis Potosi

  • Maestro Cecilio D.-Guerrero, Nayarit, Veracruz

  • Maestro Octavio B.-Sinaloa y Chihuahua

  • Maestro Nino C.-Veracruz Antiguo, Coahuila & Chiapas

  • Maestro Ramon S.-Veracruz Antiguo

  • Maestro Salvador D.-Colima

  • Maestra Virginia B.-Tabasco

  • Maestro Roberto M.-San Luis Potosi


"If you want to see my "heart beat", just watch me dance"

"Start with nothing and you will appreciate what you have when you have it"

"The greatest reward is when someone sincerely appreciates you and all your efforts"

To contact Irene regarding private lessons or workshops: