Student shares passion for dance with Ballet Folklorico

Graduating senior participates in Cinco de Mayo show annually while teaching others salsa

Rachel+Rivera+dances+with+Jose+Gonzalez+during+the+Cinco+de+Mayo+Show+in+the+Akins+theater.%0ARivera+has+performed+at+the+Cinco+de+Mayo+show+every+year+of+her+high+school+career.+
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Student shares passion for dance with Ballet Folklorico

Rachel Rivera dances with Jose Gonzalez during the Cinco de Mayo Show in the Akins theater.
Rivera has performed at the Cinco de Mayo show every year of her high school career.

Rachel Rivera dances with Jose Gonzalez during the Cinco de Mayo Show in the Akins theater. Rivera has performed at the Cinco de Mayo show every year of her high school career.

Jose Jacinto

Rachel Rivera dances with Jose Gonzalez during the Cinco de Mayo Show in the Akins theater. Rivera has performed at the Cinco de Mayo show every year of her high school career.

Jose Jacinto

Jose Jacinto

Rachel Rivera dances with Jose Gonzalez during the Cinco de Mayo Show in the Akins theater. Rivera has performed at the Cinco de Mayo show every year of her high school career.

Alejandra Arguello, Staff Writer

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Having participated in the Cinco De Mayo show every year since her freshman year, Rachel Rivera has done it all. From starting the Folklorico Club at Akins to teaching dance classes outside of school, Rivera has continuously given back to the community through her love of dance. Rivera began dancing since she was only three, having been placed in a class by her mother. “I started when I was very little, and don’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t dancing.”

This year marks her 15th year being involved in dancing. Rivera’s passion for traditional folk continued, leading her to join groups everywhere her family moved.

Rivera has had a multitude of teachers along the way, learning more and more from each instructor she had. “When I was eight I joined a dance company here in Austin and that’s when I kind of really started,” Rivera said. “When I turned 11, my family moved to Arizona and I joined another group and kept dancing.” Rivera learned the most about folklorico during her short stay in Mexico, gaining a true feeling of folk dancing.

“For a short time we lived in Mexico,” Rivera said. “I think that’s where I learned the most, was when I was in the group in Mexico and I had a real experience of true traditional folk dance in Mexico and I haven’t stopped ever since then.” “When I got here freshman year and I got into Latinos Unidos I asked (club sponsor Gina) if there was a folklorico group and she said no. There wasn’t and so I decided to start one.” This year Rivera participated in a total of eight dances for the Cinco de Mayo a blend of traditional folklorico, salsa and bachata for her performance. The last two were performed with her longtime dance partner Jose Gonzalez.

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