WE BELIEVE IN CHANGE

The mission of DEFAP/Fiesta Mexicana Dance Company is to preserve cultural heritage and help youths by providing programs that build self-esteem and social development while creating a sense of belonging.

We strive to meet the following goals:

  • Use the performing arts to teach the values of self-discipline, self-esteem, and responsibility.
  • Give youths a positive means of self-expression
  • Prevent substance abuse by empowering and educating at-risk youths.
  • Provide youths with an alternative to the streets.
  • Improve educational performance.
  • Instill a sense of cultural pride and the importance of family and community.

DEFAP also provides a support system for the entire family that is unique to the Glendale area.  Parents and Grandparents, as well as other family members can participate in the program by volunteering, dancing, and/or attending any of the many classes that are offered.

OUR LEADERSHIP

Daniel Martinez

Founder, Director, Choreographer & Recreation Program Specialist
Martinez draws from over 35 years of teaching and professional experience including experience with Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, one of the great dance companies of the world, and one of the most important cultural institutions in Latin America.  He has studied with such world-renowned artists as Rafael Zamarripa, Sylvia Lozano, Tizoc Fuentes, Amalia Hernandez and Gabriel Loyo.

Diane Camarillo

Administrator & Counselor
Camarillo’s background makes her an ideal leader for DEFAP.  She has a Bachelor’s degree in Education and a Master’s degree in Counseling.  Her educational and professional experience is working with youth in both the public school and juvenile correctional systems.

IN ASSOCIATION WITH:

Being apart of Fiesta Mexicana Dance Company has changed my life for the better! This group has taught me many new things and offered me many opportunities. We are not only dancers here, but also family. I would not trade this experience for any other.
Sparky (Karen H.)
I’ve been apart of Fiesta Mexicana Dance Company since I was 5 years old. For the past 20 years this has been my second home, not only did I become a dancer here but I’ve also become the person I am today thanks to the guidance and mentoring of Daniel and Diane. I’ve had honor of experiencing so many great opportunities as a member of FMDC, like meeting extraordinary people and traveling the country all while doing what I love, Dancing. I would not trade the knowledge and training i’ve acquired here for anywhere else.
Melina G.
Throughout my six and a half years in Fiesta Mexicana Dance Company I have had the privilege of learning many valuable lessons. When I first stepped into the dance room, I left with a very good impression and wanting to eagerly start the very next day. Ever since then I had set the goal to become better and improve each day. Throughout the years I realized that I was not only learning the proper technique of dance but also things such as responsibility, discipline, and confidence. Thanks to Fiesta Mexicana I had the opportunity of amazing experiences such as traveling to Disneyland, Chicago, Oregon and Nevada. Today, it’s impossible to imagine a life without me dancing in it. It has become my future and I will keep dancing as long as I can. Dance has become my passion and I want to thank Daniel for being the amazing instructor he is.
KK (Karen G.)

I joined a dance group when I was only seven years old at my elementary school. This is where I met Daniel Martinez, a few years down the road I had the opportunity of joining Fiesta Mexicana Dance Company under the direction of Daniel in 1996. FMDC became my family away from home, all while learning more about my culture. All the years of hard work and dedication paid off with many rewarding and fun experiences. Dancing at Disneyland, half time shows for the Cardinals and Phoenix Suns were probably some of the most unique experiences that I personally had. I am who I am today because of Diane and Daniel who have always been there for not only myself but many of the dancers that have passed through the doors of FDMC. Life makes it a little more difficult to be a big part of FMDC like I used to, but FMDC was still a big part of my life and I will be there to help when I possibly can.

Luis H.