About 150 Fresno Unified School District students and their parents will visit the Fresno State campus Saturday, Sept. 27 for The Folklórico Summit, a new cultural event designed to inspire youth to get a college education.

Members of Los Danzantes de Aztlán, the University’s Mexican folkloric dance troupe in the Department of Chicano and Latin American Studies, will conduct dance workshops from 9-11:45 a.m.

The event ends with a free, public performance by Los Danzantes and workshop recitals from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in the Satellite Student Union.

Participants were selected from folkloric dance programs in Fresno Unified middle and high schools through the district’s Visual and Performing Arts manager, Allan E. Kristensen.

Dr. Victor Torres, troupe director and professor of Chicano and Latin American Studies, said the partnership with Fresno Unified is intended to use the passion and discipline required for Mexican folkloric dancing as a way to inspire students to pursue higher education.

“The goal is not simply to teach folklórico, but to use folklórico as a means to instill in the students the same passion in their academics that they have for dance,” Torres said.

“The dedication, discipline and passion required to be a successful dancer also make for a successful student. Therefore, the summit seeks to help the students transfer these attributes to their school work so that they can be eligible to apply to a four-year college.”

The participants will receive information about attending college from University Outreach Services counselors during lunch. Parents can attend a college information panel at 11 a.m. in Social Science Building, room 208, and go on guided tours of the campus.

Torres said the workshops are designed to offer a challenging and meaningful experience by teaching basic dance techniques that the students can take back to their schools and master.

“The basic technique is designed to help build coordination, focus and balance,” Torres said. “With the mastery of these skills, dance teachers will have an easier time teaching dances.”

For more information, contact Torres at 559.278.4115 or Kristensen at allan.kristensen@fresnounified.org.

(Media contacts: Fresno State –Tom Uribes, tomu@csufresno.edu; Fresno Unified – Micheline Golden, Micheline.Golden@fresnounified.org).

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