In the 1950’s my wife Juanita and I were blessed with three children, Laura (1957), Edward (1958) and Anna (1959), that we raised as “American”. Then in 1972 we were blessed with a third daughter, Nicole. That is when I contemplated on my heritage.

In 1979 my son Edward was attending Illinois Institute of Technology and had joined the LIFE Club (Latinos Involved in Further Education). He asked if I and his sister could dance at a club event. I realized that, knowing only two dances would not be representative of the vast Mexican repertoire so I searched for a dance troupe and found Ms. Ofelia Solano; she had a girl’s group that practised at the Gads Hill Center, 1919 W. Cullerton Street, www.gadshillcenter.org.  I asked her whether her group of girls could dance for my son’s event and she graciously consented to do it.  When I saw her girls perform I realized that, in my search, they were the best I had seen. Therefore Nicole joined it. The group was named Nuevo Ideal.


Irene Toscano helped the group and in 1981 she was instrumental in getting it into the first Ethnic Heritage Village Festival, as the Mexican representative, at the Illinois State Fair

I was employed at Western Electric Company when some of us employees formed the Hawthorne Heritage and Culture Club. I was asked to contribute something about my Mexican heritage. I knew nothing about it and since my wife and I were avid ballroom dancers I decided to learn some Mexican Folkloric dances with Nicole.


I searched for an instructor and found Mrs. Francis Casas and

Ms Alicia Chavarria. They thought us the Jarabe Tapatio and La Bamba. We presented them at club functions and in our church events.                                                                                                                



                                                                                                                                                                        Western Electric                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Cicero, IL     circa 1979




This is the certificate of participation that the dancers of Nuevo Ideal received for dancing in the very first Ethnic Heritage Festival at the 1981 Illinois State Fair.


The following year Nuevo Ideal and Alma de Mexico merged to form MFDC and then MFDC became the participant at the festival.



Subsequently, I discovered that Ofelia danced in an adult group, Alma de Mexico, of Jose Luis Ovalle. It also rehearsed at

Gads Hill. When I saw the professionalism of Jose’s rehearsals I was greatly impressed.




                                         OUTSIDE                   NUEVO IDEAL BROCHURE                       INSIDE

                                                     This is the brochure, above,  that I designed for Nuevo Ideal

                                                                                             I only know Nicole, in front, can anyone name the others?






At a later date the two groups teamed up to present a full concert at the Marshall Square Theatre. By then, our daughter, Nicole was part of the performing dancers and when we saw how professional the show was conducted I saw a potential that they could be a terrific troupe if they would ever combine to form one large company.


We were happy that on February 17, 1982 they did combine to form the Mexican Folkloric Dance Company of Chicago.


● The founders and first officers were Jose L. Ovalle, Ofelia Solano and Serafin Vargas Guevara.









The three founders









Jose Luis Ovalle       Ofelia Solano      Serafin Vrgas Guevara



The 1st company (teen-adults) founding dancers were Jose Luis Ovalle, Serafin Vargas, Ofelia Solano, Jose M. Vega, Matiana Medrano, Olivero            , Carmella Baeza, Mayela         , Lourdes Valles, Delia Vazquez, Lourdes Ramirez, Ana Rosa         , Sylvia Salinas and Noemi Salinas.  




The 2nd company (ages 6 to 12) founding dancers were Nicole M. Roa, Diana Valenzuela, Patricia Casas, Hector Casas, David Moreno,







1982 was also the year that the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum (MFACM) was founded by Carlos Tortolero; it began a close relationship with MFDC that has continued to this date.

Eventually the museum was renamed The National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA).

MFACM donated MFDC's first brochure shown below.

        Dancers are   Ofelia Solano and Jose M. Vega            Dancers are Jose L. Ovalle, Ofelia Solano and Jose M. Vega

                            OUTSIDE         FIRST COMPANY BROCHURE        INSIDE

Donated in the mid-1980s by The Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum (now known as the National Museum of Mexican Art)

                                                                      Click on image to enlarge it






In the late 1970s Rogelio Olguin, a photographer, videographer, audio technician and Declamador Mexicano,  volunteered at the Museum of Science and Industry's Pan American Festival, later Festival of the Arts, with Ballet Folklorico Azteca of Federico Rodriguez and between 1981 and 1982 invited Raizes del Ande of Jaime and Mario Lino, Monja Blanca de Carmen Garcia, Panama en Chicago of Bill Perez, Tierra Colombiana of Edgar Serna, Cuerdas Clasicas of Rodolfo Hernandez and the Mexican Folkloric Dance Company of Chicago of Jose Luis Ovalle. 

Then Rogelio became associated with MFDC as a photographer and videographer.


Ballet Folklorico Azteca of Federico Rodriguez was one of the groups that Rogelio Olguin brought to the festival. Federico is holding his children in the center of the picture. Jaime Lino, in the white shirt, of Raices del Ande is to the right of Federico.


The late Jimmy Payne Sr.



was a famous tap dancer and stars such as Lena Horne, June Allyson, Gregory Hines, Bob Fosse and Jane Goldberg all either worked with him or studied under him. 


In the mid-1990s Jimmy attended one of Mexican Folkloric Dance Company of Chicago's (MFDC) performances sponsored by the Boulevard Arts Center; the newly formed Sones de Mexico Ensemble also performed with MFDC. Jimmy attended because he had known Federico Rodriguez and wanted to do a collaboration of Mexican dance and American tap dance. However, Federico's troupe disbanded and he went back to Mexico where he passed away. Thus the collaboration never was done.


Jimmy approached Henry Roa and spoke about the failed collaboration with Federico and suggested that it could now be done with MFDC and Sones de Mexico Ensemble. He said that it would be a better collaboration because of the live music of Sones de Mexico.


However, Jimmy was now in his late 90s and failing health prevented the planning of the collaboration. He passed away in 2000.




Yet his dream became a reality when the Stomping Grounds performances of the Chicago Human Rhythms Project were created; https://chicagotap.org/#section-1 The shows include  Mexican Folkloric as well as American tap which is what Jimmy wanted.







The incorporation allowed the company to apply for grants from the Illinois Arts Council and the Chicago Office of Fine 

    Arts; the annual grants have continued to this day.  NBC WMAQ CH-5 TV also awarded MFDC a cash grant.

Because of its professionalism, MFDC was eventually made the official presenter of all the festival entertainment

The festival lasted until 2001 when it was terminated because of the 911 attack in New York. This resulted in a 50% drop in tourism that affected attendance at most of the tourist attractions in Chicago. Attempts to revitalize the festival have not been successful.



March 28, 1983


      I incorporated the company. Carmela Baeza and Matilde Martinez were the














     The second set of officers were  Jose L. Ovalle, president, Ofelia Solano,

     president-elect, Serafin Vargas, vice president and I, as executive director.  

     My wife, Juanita, became the bookkeeper.









       Jose L. Ovalle               Ofelia Solano       Serafin Vargas Guevara       Henry A. Roa                 Juanita Roa



 1984  Irene Flores negotiates the move to a larger facility at Malcolm X College,

     1900 W.  Van Buren Street.

     It was sad that we had to leave Gads Hill but the company needed the larger space that

     Malcolm  X provided.

         Dr. Arturo and Shirley Velasquez in Acapulco                       Arturo with MFDC dancers

                   for 50th wedding anniversary


 Arturo was Chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago when Irene Flores acquired MFDC's residency at Malcolm X College. At one point MFDC was asked to leave because the college needed the space for other projects but Arturo made sure that MFDC would stay for as long as ........" he was the boss of the whole . . . . . . . . "


His family also helped MFDC through his Automatic Music Company run by Edward and Maria Elena, Azteca Foods owned by Arthur R.  Carmen, founder of Alivio Medical Center also helped.


The West Side Technical Institute, 2800 S. Western Ave. is named in his, Shirley's and their family's honour.                                                                                                                                         

This is his obituary and a brief history








Arthur R. and Joanne Velasquez have contributed  regularly from Azteca Foods


and briefly through the Chicago Community Trust Foundation     

In 1989 Carmen Velazquez and Dr. Ann Garcelon, a colleague of Ms. Velásquez who was affiliated with Mercy Medical Center, founded Alivio Medical Center to provide free medical service to the underserved Latino population.









The late Commissioner Irene Hernandez Helped and promoted the dance company.




Mr. Eusebio Arce also began contributing to MFDC; his company is Tropical Optical.






The professionalism of the presentations grew with the addition of live musical accompaniment provided by Mariachi Guadalajara of Tony Partida (later named Real Guadalajara of Nicolas Diaz), estudiantina Cuerdas Clasicas of Rodolfo Hernandez, Trio los Duques of Jorge Jasso and Banda Los Horoscopos. Other mariachi bands used were Tequila, Los Palmeros, Perla de Mexico, Ameca and Angeles de Puebla.



Cuerdas Clasicas, Inc. www.cuerdasclasicaschicago.org was founded in 1976 by Rodolfo Hernandez. Its estudiantina style provides the classical music required for some of the repertoire performed by the Mexican Folkloric Dance Company of Chicago such as the suite "Cincuenta Años de Historia".

The suite exposes the Czechoslovakian polka, The Polish mazurka and redowa, the Scottish Schottische, the Austrian Waltzen, and English Square Dancing.


 L to R : Rodolfo Hernandez,



Women were introduced in the 1990s


L to R

Top Row :                                ,                     

                            Salvador Hernandez



Middle Row                  ,                        ,                   

                                  ,             , Rodolfo Hernandez


Bot Row :





















In 1985 the company was chosen to perform at Bloom High School in Chicago Heights, IL for the visit by President Ronald Reagan.



Also in 1985 the company produced its own show at Center East in Skokie, IL and made a modest profit. Estudiantina Cuerdas Clasicas, Trio Los Duques and a mariachi provided live musical accompaniment.




The company became a very close family such that Ofelia and Serafin married and later Jose married Matiana Medrano, a dancer in his group. This started a trend where nine couples met in the company and married. Some returned with their children to continue with the company.





Salvador Hernandez Sr., after his daughter Patricia joined the company, became a second company photographer.




1986       Above is a 1986 six-foot poster that was on the rear of every CTA bus in Chicago.

WOJO had covered a performance at Olive Harvey College and took this picture for promotional use.

L-R  Patricia Hernandez, Jennifer Vargas, Myriam del Angel, Nicole Roa, Estela Villarreal,

Susana Arciga, Patricia Casas and ? . . .i forgot her name . . . help






In 1987 it performed at the Pan Am Games for vice president Bush.

● for Governor James Thompson,

Mayor Harold Washington,

● at The Chicago Theater as an opening for Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme where the MC was Irv Kupcinet.


The same year Ofelia and Serafin left the company to attend to other commitments.

The third generation of officers then became Jose L. Ovalle, president, Matiana M. Ovalle, vice president,

my wife Juanita Roa, Secretary / Treasurer and I, executive director.

         Jose Luis Ovalle           Matiana M. Ovalle              Juanita Roa                   Henry A. Roa





●  That same year it performed for the Tribute to Katherine Dunham at The New Regal Theater.







● By then the company had become the premier Mexican troupe in the area, receiving many awards, grants and recognitions.       A full list is in the Awards, Grants and Recognitions page herein.




One prospective grant, in 1988, was from a Sister Cities program that was to provide funds to tour Mexico. MFDC made the arrangements only to discover that the grant could not be made. So my wife, Juanita, provided the funds to save the tour. Jose also helped by delaying collecting a remuneration due to him from MFDC.  MFDC went on the tour:  Matehuala, San Luis Potosi, Aguascalients, Queretaro and Acapulco and received rave reviews from the Mexican media including a TV interview.


1988  In the airplane to Monterey, Mexico.


Front row : Luis Alberto Ovalle 

                  and Mrs. Roa.

Next row Eric Baeza, Nicole Roa-Bernal and

               Rosie de la Torre

Next row Victor Vargas and David Moreno

Next row Yuvanka Juarez ??,

               Jennefer Vargas and Liz Juarez ??

Next row Jose L. Ovalle, Eliazar Landeros ?

               Mrs Juarez.

Last row ? ? ?, Mr. Pardiñias, Mrs Pardiñas

               and Juan Carlos Martinez.


It was a memorable tour.











 1988       FEATURED IN “A FEELING FOR LIFE”   Cultural Identity Book by Margy McClain   

                  Copyright© 1988 by Urban Traditions All rights Reserved

               Library of Congess number 88-50557      ISBN 0-9620521-0-8

                               Click on picture to enlarge it or click 4 dot circle at lower right to enlarge it even more.





  Performs for Chicago Bulls halftime show at Chicago Stadium.

  Mariachi Guadalajara also performed.




● In 1992 MFDC received 501(c)(3) status which opened the door for new funding such as the Chicago Community Foundation, the Chicago Tribune Foundation, Fel -Pro Foundation and the WPWR-TV Foundation. 

The 501(c)(3) status also led to the Museum of Science and Industry choosing MFDC as the official presenter of all the entertainment for the annual festival.


That same year the company celebrated its tenth anniversary with a banquet and show at the South Shore Cultural Center.

See the Program / AD book in the Dancers & Gallery section.



In the years that followed

1994 :

● MFDC has to leave Malcolm X College (Arturo Velasquez was no longer chancellor) but at the same time a new community center in Pilsen, Instituto Cultural Guadalupano, is planned by The Resurrection Project and MFDC is solicited to be the resident dance company.     

● Sones de Mexico Ensemble is formed and MFDC begins to utilize Sones because it plays almost all of the music from the different regions of Mexico, including the indigenous rituals. This elevates the presentations to a higher level of professionalism.

Sones de Mexico Ensemble was founded in 1994 by Juan Dies and Victor Pichardo.


Juan is in front. In the rear from L-R are Victor Pichardo, Gonzalo Cordova and Rene Cardoza.


Shortly after the founding, Sones teamed up with the Mexican Folkloric Dance Company of Chicago to create performances of higher quality with authentic regional music to accompany the dancers.


Now together with Cuerdas Clasicas, Inc www.cuerdasclasicaschicago.org, Mariachi Guadalajara of Tony Partida (later Real Guadalajara of Nicolas Diaz) and other bands it raised the professionalism of performances to a much higher level.



Sones grew to six members and in 2007 and 2008 it was nominated for a  GRAMMY® and a Latin GRAMMY®.for its song " Esta Tierra es Tuya".  Conceived as an immigrant manifesto, its centerpiece is a rollicking norteño version of the Woody Guthrie 1940 song "This land is your land". Woody wrote the song because he was disturbed by California's rejection of the dust bowl victims that moved there seeking work. Californians did not welcome the "Okies" taking jobs away from them. It was a situation where states rejected states. Sones wrote this parody to highlight a similar situation when countries reject other countries;   the immigration dilemma.       

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKOqMROXKZc   Freddie Freak's version

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aPLbPipdqU    Sones' version

               https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1R4xFrQQNE     Sones' version 

             https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmiUloNblaY      Woody Guthrie's original version


















































Jose Luis Ovalle is selected to emcee

the appearance of Amalia Hernandez

at the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum.

































       Performs before President Bill Clinton at The World Cup in Soldier Field before 45,000 people including many world 


       Auditions were held to pick the groups to represent the competing teams' countries in the opening ceremonies.

       MFDC did not have to audition; its reputation was enough to be selected to represent Mexico.


            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wMeCNNXTMs  WORLD CUP ALL GROUPS MFDC IS AT 5:19

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AxLTy0j8T0        WORLD CUP ALL GROUPS MFDC IS AT 16:12

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmFy1Bu105I      WORLD CUP ALL GROUPS MFDC CLOSEUP IS AT   5:12

                                                                                                  PRESIDENT CLINTON IS SHOWN AT THE 10:50 MARK 

           https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lY0F7Tx-_8        CLINTON IS AT 47, MFDC AT  5:19

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFJVotIhzAM        CLINTON IS INTRODUCED AT THE 2:30 MARK 





1995  MFDC returns to its birth community of Pilsen in the Instituto Cultural Guadalupano.



1996   Expands to the Brighton Park community, that is now predominantly Mexican, with a residency at Our Lady of Fatima Church, 2751 W. 38th Pl.








Because of its Illinois not-for-profit status, that allowed obtaining funds from the Illinois Arts Council, the company having previously been made the official presenter of all entertainment for the annual Museum of Science and Industry's Hispanic Festival of the Arts (renamed Latino Horizons), was made an official grant writer to apply for funds to pay the festival artists.


This is recorded in the 1996 book



           ISBN 0-96386575-7




This is page 151 in the book.


Page 149 has the story of the dance company's involvement in the museum events.


I provided some information to Mr Pridmore.




The dancers are Matiana Ovalle and Victor Vargas.



















● In 1997 it celebrates its fifteenth anniversary with a dinner and a show at the South Shore Cultural Center. See the Program / AD Book in the Dancers & Gallery section.




● In the new millennium a fire at the Guadalupano Center causes MFDC to seek alternate space at Notre Dame Church, 1336 W. Flournoy, St. Ann School, 2211 W. 18th Place, St. Pius Church, Ashland and 19th Street and the Harrison Park Field House, 1824 S. Wood Street. 


The late Mr. Raul Muñoz Loza of Taquerias Atotonilco, Lavanderias Atotonilco and Asociacion de Charros Cuatro Caminos begins to donate an annual grant to MFDC until his untimely death in 2012.

     Raul Muñoz Loza                                                        Asociacion de Charros Cuatro Caminos




















Receives a Four Star review from

The Green Bay Press-Gazette

for performances in Green Bay WI.  




"Wow! did the Mexican Folkloric Dance

Company of Chicago put on a show

Thursday night at the Weidner Center.

It was one of the most spectacular

displays of costuming to visit the hall" 

"Dazzles" "Bursts of flame"

"Dancers whirled, stomped and glided" 

                   read the review.





































2001     The company is mentioned in the book

"Mexican Chicago" by Carlos Tortolero and Rita Arias Jirasek.

         ISBN 0-7385-0756-3


The Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum embraced the project of taking the first steps in creating a body of work that begins to document and preserve the history of the Mexican experience in the Midwest.


I contributed some material and I am listed in the acknowledgements page.




The following two pages, in the book, are pictures of Estudiantina Cuerdas Clasicas www.cuerdasclasicaschicago.org, Mexican Folkloric Dance Company of Chicago www.mexfoldanco.org and Sones de Mexico Ensemble www.sonesdemexico.com. they were included as the premier bands and folkloric dance company in Chicago.





In the section of Arts and Culture on page 159



Curdas Clasicas is commended as a fine estudiantina group.

















The Mexican Folkloric Dance Company of Chicago is featured as one of the nations leading folkloric dance groups.


The dancers are Jennifer Vargas and 

                           Jose M. Vega.

                           Nicole M. Roa is at the back.










                        In the center picture section is this page of

                                 Sones de Mexico Ensemble







    On the same page is the Arturo and Shirley Velasquez 

     family which has been a leading advocate of the arts.


           Arturo and Shirley have passed to Heaven.            

            Their family carries on their benevolence.














                                               Sones de Mexico Ensemble





















2001 FEATURED on ILLINOIS ARTS COUNCIL AGENCY WTTW    TV SHOW "CENTER STAGE ARTS ACROSS ILLINOIS". The program features Illinois artists that are part of IACA's Artist Directory and receive partial funding from IACA. Sones de Mexico Ensemble is one of the artists and provided the music for this Huapango dance; they are off-screen left on an adjoining stage.

      View it:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyZqBhoYPDo  




The links sometimes continues to other videos at South Suburban College, and the Harris Theatre where Jose and Mati dance then the company takes over. There are also segments with the children and former dancers that came back to perform with the present members in a special show at the Harris Theater, Chicago, IL .



2001                                                                                                                                                                                        The company is chosen to perform, in Harrison Park, for Mexican president Fox’s visit to Chicago.




















WTTW TV produced a documentary of the company's visit to the small town of Beardstown, Il. It describes how a small town, after losing one third of its population, recovered because of the Latino immigration that revitalized the community and Latino activities became annual events.


This is the video:      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ki4tzLj4P8g




2002 The company decided to celebrate its twentieth anniversary with a larger show. Instead of a dinner show it was 

          decided to do a performance on the Skyline Stage at Navy pier with a seating capacity of 1,492. It was a sellout success.

          See the Program / AD Book in the Dancers & Gallery section.



2003    Granted residency in the new Zacatecano Cultural Center, 4145 S. Kedzie Ave. in Brighton Park. The center is run by 

             the Federacion de Clubes Unidos Zacatecanos en Illinois. 





2003 and 2004  Performs with Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, 

               Mariachi Cobre, Mariachi Los Camperos and Ana Barbara 

                 at Walt Disney World Epcot Cente for UNIVISION's first and

               second Mariachi Festival.     





















2003    Selected to participate in the opening of the

             Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance

             in Chicago Millennium Park.  


   This YouTube Video of 2018 has a quick view of MFDC at the 

      1:35 mark.     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opUtXzV5_EE 

Video shows Joan W. Harris, Sandra P. Guthman and Sarah Solotaroff Mirkin discussing the need for an affordable first-class venue for smaller and medium size performing arts groups. At the 1:35 mark Mrs. Harris says that they finally got the building built and at the ribbon cutting night of November 08, 2003, the Mexican Folkloric Dance Company of Chicago (MFDC) is the first company pictured; only a second but a proud second.

The gala opening was covered by the media and comments on MFDC’s performance were: "Rollicking” and “Colorful,” said the Chicago Tribune. “Spirited,” said the Chicago Sun-Times.





                This is the picture that appears, for just a seond, 

                in the video. It was first in the line of pictures of                    the other performing groups also appearing for   

                just a second.








The company dancers and staff were chosen to be part of the images

to be shown on the Crown Fountain in Millennium Park.

About 2014 Juan Dies of Sones de Mexico Ensemble happened


to be at the fountain at the precise moment, with camera in hand,  

and took photos of my image when it appeared on the screen.

In 2016 the fountain was repaired and reopened on April 23, 2017.

The original images will remain as part of the history of Chicago's diverse population.                An article states: "What won't change are the faces themselves "The faces that were part of the piece 13 years ago will be the faces always. It makes it more timeless," said Mark Kelly, commissioner of DCASE, which helped organize the rehab project as part of its 2017 Year of Public Art initiative. "I've also been asked several times, 'What if we had some of Chicago's icons (on the screens)?' Again, it's just Chicagoans. It captures the demographics and diversity of the city. It's everyone and not 'someone.'"

              So I will be there for as long as the fountain is there.


             I wonder has anyone else been there and saw a familiar face?








2005  Featured on WTTW  CH-11 PBS Chicago Tonight program 

          "ARTS ACROSS ILLINOIS" sponsored by Illinois Arts Council Oct. 10.

          “CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED” stated Bob Sirott 


         It is a WTTW TV documentary on the immigration dilemma and 

         how one town, Beardstown, IL   benefited from immigration.


           View it:       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG_Ie1XCjTQ

         The original full version can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ki4tzLj4P8g









2006     Participates in Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington D.C. as representative


for Chicago Mexican Music and  Dance exhibit archived in Smithsonian Library for posterity.  A tent was set up where Jose and Mati exhibited costmes and performed dances. At the entrance to the tent, there was a description of the exhibit and a short profile of my association with the company. It can be viewed in the "About Us" section herein.


































































2007     PERFORMS with PEPE AGUILAR at




Top row:  Pepe Aguilar  and Salvador Hernandez.


Middle row:  Jessica Zapata, Michaela Hernandez,

                  Mati Ovalle, Marisol Bucio, Samantha Figueroa


Bot Row:  Daniel Garcia, David Moreno, Jose L. Ovalle,

                  Luis Ovalle


The 2007 link is no longer available.

This is the link to the 2008 appearance with Pepe Aguilar

Premio Lo Nuestro XIX Pepe Aguilar - Video Search Results (yahoo.com)





2007 Celebrates its 25th anniversary with a sellout show at the Harris Theatre in Millennium Park. See Program / AD Book in Danccers & Gallery section.
















(selected over groups from Mexico)


Back row L to R:

Ricardo Lemus, Jessica Aguilar, David Miranda, Daniel Garcia, Arturo Bucio and Elizabeth Tapia.


Front row Jose Luis Ovalle and Henry A. Roa being interviewed by Ireland TV RTE




























2008    CANAL ONCE from MEXICO CITY comes to Chicago to film a story on MFDC.













Premio Lo Nuestro XIX Pepe Aguilar - Video Search Results (yahoo.com)


Slide to the 1 hour, 10 minute, 50 second mark where MFDC comes in.












DANCES a second time at





(selected over groups from Mexico)


Bot row: Jose L. Ovalle,                        , Marisol Bucio,              ,             Ibarra, Mati Ovalle

2nd row: Carlos Ovalle,                  Landeros,                     ,


3rd row:                   , David Ovalle,  Luis Ovalle,         Aguilera, Arturo Bucio,                        , Arney Ruiz, Henry A. Roa.


Top row: David Fuentes,                        ,                     






2009   Performs with JUAN GABRIEL

in Las Vegas for Latin GRAMMYS® 


 Juan Gabriel CON MARIACHI GRAMMY LATINOS 2009 - Bing video


MFDC comes in at 1:30, a minute later Juan says "a toda la Familia de Chicago" referring to MFDC (easier than remembering "La Compañia de Danza Folklorica Mexicana de Chicago"). At 5:15 he sings "Mi Mexico es muy Lindo, mi Mexico es Encantador, y luego por sus artistas, sus mariachi, su folklore" again recognizing MFDC and pointing to dancers.


At 5:55 He dances with Jessica Aguilar and David Moreno.


This link shows dancers exiting; Juan acknowledges them again



  Juan Gabriel CON MARIACHI GRAMMY LATINOS 2009 - Bing video     








Becomes an Arts Partner with the City of Chicago 

Park District with residencies at Gage Park and Piotrowski Park.     


           These become MFDC's permanent homes.   

























    30-year anniversary sell-out performances at

    the Harris Theater, Chicago and the

    Olympic Theater, Cicero.




























 2014   Performs for 20th anniversary of Sones de Mexico Ensemble at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion Millennium Park; 15,000 attended.


 2015   Annual appearances on WGN TV  CH 9  http://wgntv.com/2014/08/01/midday-fix-the-living-loop-performing-arts-festival/ 





2015       Shown in part of a WTTW CH-11 TV

              Documentary "Chicago's South Side

              Neighbourhoods" in the Gage Park segment 

              where MFDC is in residency.

                          Watch the full show here


    MFDC appears at the beginning intro, at the

    2:10 mark; at the 42-minute mark where MFDC is 

    featured at Gage Park and briefly at the end at   

    the I hour and 35-minute mark; right after the 

    Rainbow Cone segment.


      This picture is in the slide show at this site :


      Phil Ponce interviews Geoffrey Baer as the slide show runs below them. There is a link "Chicago's South Side" web site that takes you to the first video link above.














2016 MFDC participates in the Stomping Grounds Festival produced by the Chicago Human Rhythm Project, which concluded with a gala at the legendary Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.

Other participants were Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, Trinity Academy of Irish Dance, Muntu Dance Theater of Chicago and BAM Ensemble of CHRP.


























2016   Featured on WLS TV CH 7 Hispanic Heritage Month http://abc7chicago.com/entertainment/mexican-folkloric-dance-company-lights-up-stage-at-south-suburban-college/1553878/http%3A%2F%2Fabc7chicago.com%2F1553878%2F 




























9/17/2016     Ravinia Festival Park

   in Highland Park, Illinois invited the 

   company to perform at the

   Fiesta Ravinia as an opening for

   Los Tigres del Norte and

   Mariachi Flor de Toloache.






























2016  Above: At the Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, Illinois  with Lila Downs and Mariachi Los 

             Camperos de Nati Caño.   VIEW VIDIO  (15) Lila Downs con Mariachi Los Camperos - YouTube 








2017 Collaboration with Chicago Human Rhythm Project annual

         Stomping Grounds dance series.


Collaborating companies were:                                                Entertainment

BAM Chicago Human Rhythms tap dancers                                      Section

Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater                                           Monday

Mexican Folkloric Dance Company of Chicago                                    June 5

Muntu African Dance Theater of Chicago                                               Issue

Trinity Academy of Irish Dance


                                                                                                                                                                              Dancers are:

                                                                                       Karen Valdez                                                                                             and Christian Washington











Above: Performs again with Los Tigres del Norte and Natalia Jimenez at Fiesta Ravinia 

             at Ravinia Park, Highland Park, IL

   These are some videros    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCjgEB9XeiY  Pt 1   CHIAPAS

                                         https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rRZOjhdgO4&t=81s  pt 2   CHIAPAS

                                         https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9-Cl6h1Clk&t=75s   pt 3   NORTE

                                         https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b20CuLRK9G0           Pt 4   VERACRUZ

                                         https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eljGmYgZii4                Pt 5   VERACRUZ
















                     March 17, 2018



       At Copernicus Center with Juan Valentin and Beatriz Adriana






















March 31, 2018,

Above:      Performs with Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan and Graciela Beltran at the 

Copernicus Center, Chicago. It is the third time that MFDC has performed with Mariachi Vargas.

View video here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRZODRfOmIM        








2018 Stomping Grounds Series



                   April 2 at the Chicago Cultural Center.


               April 14 at The Beverly Arts, Center.


               April 28 at the National Museum of Mexican Art.


               May 5 at DuSable Museum of African-American History.


               June 7 Grand Finale at Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.























                                                           WITH LOS TIGRES del NORTE AND MARIACHI FLOR de TOLOACHE.



2019                  Click on picture to enlarge it.

Stomping Grounds Series of the Chicago Human Rhythms Project (CHRP).


Monday March 18 at The Chicago Cultural Center, featuring :

CHRP's Stone Soup Rhythms, Natya Dance Theatre, Mexican Folkloric Dance Company of Chicago, Muntu Dance Theater, Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater and Trinity Irish Dance Company.         


Wednesday April 3 at Garfield Park Conservatory, featuring :

Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, Mexican Folkloric Dance Company of Chicago, Stone Soup Rhythms and Natya Dance Theatre.     


Saturday April 27 at The National Museum of Mexican Art, Featuring :

Mexican Folkloric Dance Company of Chicago, Natya Dance Theatre and Stone Soup Rhythms.


Saturday May 11 at The DuSable Museum of African American History, Featuring : 

Muntu Dance Theatre, Mexican Folkloric Dance Company of Chicago and Stone Soup Rhythms and Natya Dance Theatre.


Friday May 31, Grand Finale at the Harris Theater featuring all the dance companies. 










Saturday, July 27, 2019


Ho Chunk Gaming


Black River Falls, Wisconsin.



















Earns Platinum Badge from GuideStar 


















             ON MFDC












    Recieives $140,000



         Spread over 12 quarterly payments from 2021 to 2024














                                                                                           These were the contributing funders:





























   Awarded a 2021 Great NonProfit Certificate


   Mexican Folkloric Dance Company of Chicago Inc Reviews and Ratings | Chicago, IL | Donate, Volunteer, Review | GreatNonprofits
























Awarded Great Nonprofits Top Rated badge






















 WTTW TV interview of pandemic recovery.


 Chicago Tonight | Dance Company Celebrates Mexican Tradition | Season 2022 | WTTW











2022   ABOVE            Pandemic recovery continues with performances at McKinley Park and Athenaeum Center.  






 Awarded Great Nonprofits 2023 Top Rated Badge









Fiesta Ravinia Park


Returns to Ravinia Park after three year hiatus because of the Pandemic.



  Ravinia Festival | Official Site | Fiesta Ravinia 2023: Mexican Independence Celebration with Reik 




















The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago hosted its first Latino Dance Festival on Sat. Sept 23rd, 30th and Thurs. Oct. 12, 2023. MFDC's Artistic Director, Jose L. Ovalle was interviewed on Friday, Sept. 29, at Old Town School of Folk Music. MFDC performed on Sat. Sept 30 at Humboldt Park.


International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago hosts dance festival (youtube.com)










November 3  at the Athenaeum Center, Chicago.





First of "3 Chicago Cultural Treasures" shows with Cuerdas Clasicas, Sones de Mexico Ensemble and MFDC 


The "Calaca" dance is introduced:

(2) La Calaca by the Mexican Folkloric Dance Company of Chicago, and Cuerdas Clasicas. - YouTube


















           The history continues on the "History Part 2" page.



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