YWCA in collaboration with DEFAP/Fiesta Mexicana had the honor and pleasure of hosting a lecture by James Johnson, Coach for the 2012 Olympic Wresting Team. Coach Johnson spoke to youth and teens about his Olympic experience and overcoming adversity. He has coached past U.S. Olympic, U.S. World and U.S. Senior Greco-Roman teams, including the Hungarian Grand Prix the last three years. A winner of two Pan American Championship gold medals and a silver medal in the 1991 Pan American games, a four time winner of the World Cup Championship Medals in Greco-Roman wrestling and runner-up in the 1992 U.S. Olympic Trials, Johnson is a three time National Champion of the USA National Wrestling Team. The James Johnson Award, an annual recognition given to the top senior scholastic wrestler in eastern North Carolina, honors the former high school wrestling star from Greenville. A sports consultant and coach for the Arizona-based Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club, Johnson headquarters at the YW Phoenix facility training wrestlers and elite athletes.


At Fiesta Mexicana we strive to use the performing arts to teach the values of self-discipline, self-esteem, and responsibility; while instilling a sense of cultural pride and the importance of family and community. We are proud to offer instruction in a variety of dances. We specialize in dances from various regions of Mexico and Latin American countries, such as Costa Rica, Republica Dominicana, Venezuela, Cuba, Peru and more!

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 repertoire includes, but is not limited to:

  • Ballet Folklorico
  • Country Western
  • Salsa
  • Merenge
  • Jazz
  • Ballet
  • And much more!
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.