The Ballet FolklÃ³rico de Las Vegas offers lessons in the history and styles of folk dance from various regions of Mexico. Classes currently focus on the dances of Veracruz and Jalisco. Classes will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7.15pm to 9.15pm and are taught by Kareli Montoya.
Kareli Montoya’s career in the folklore and mariachi world began at the age of seven in a community park in the city of Commerce, California. Throughout her childhood, Kareli was fortunate to learn from the best instructors in California and the United States such as Maria Venegas (founder of the California FolklÃ³rico del Sur Ballet) and folklore pioneer, Benjamin Hernandez (member founder of the Ballet FolklÃ³rico de la U de G and founder of the professional company Mexicapan). At the age of twelve, Kareli was invited to be part of the professional dance company Danza Teocalt, directed by Miguel Angel Diaz, where she had the opportunity to tour with Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano, winner of a Grammy Award. At fifteen, she became the youngest dancer to have had the opportunity to perform in the legendary La Fonda de Los Camperos where she danced every week for three years.
In 2009, Kareli and three other dance colleagues founded Folklor PasiÃ³n Mexicana, a professional dance company. In this company, she participated in the Tournament of Roses Parade 2011, the Santa Barbara Mariachi Festival, and shared the stage with various famous mariachi bands such as Mariachi Vargas and Mariachi Los Camperos. In 2011, after graduating with a degree in social work from California State University in Los Angeles, Kareli traveled to Colima, Mexico, where she studied and performed with the internationally renowned Universidad de Colima Ballet FolklÃ³rico directed by folk icon and sculptor Rafael Zamarripa. After returning from Colima, Kareli founded the Ballet FolklÃ³rico de Los Ãngeles in 2011 and founded the BFLA Performing Arts Academy in 2013.
Kareli has also helped co-produce several concerts for Star Entertainment, a non-profit production company owned by Dr Raul Ruiz that has been creating high-quality cultural concerts for over a decade. Her last business started in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she expanded her company to serve the Las Vegas community and founded the Las Vegas FolklÃ³rico Ballet.