In 1972, a group of students at the University of Washington, led by Josefina Jaramillo Alvarez, united in a common goal to demonstrate their pride in their Mexican heritage through music and dance. They questioned the lack of a Mexican dance group at the UW. In many ways it was a product of the Civil Rights and Chicano movements.
The group's first official director was Elma Gonzalez Radke. Under her direction the small but dedicated group hosted the 1977 National Conference for ANGF, the Asociación Nacional de Grupos Folklóricos. In 1975 Cecilia Ortiz Boyer and her brother Alberto Ortiz joined the group, and the legacy that is Bailadores de Bronce found its heart and soul. Cecilia would dance in the group for 25 years. During her 18 years as director, she would inspire generations of dancers to take to the stage and share their cultural pride. The group was chosen as the representative of the Washington State Hispanic community in the 1986 World's Fair in Vancouver, B.C.
In 1998, Cece invited Carlos Alaniz to become her co-director. After nine years as a dancer, he became the director in 2000. Under his leadership, the group returned to its roots at the University of Washington to practice at the Ethnic Cultural Center and to peform for the first time at Meany Hall in 2007 for its 35th Anniversary. The venue was filled to capacity. Before retiring in 2010, he orchestrated the formation of Bronce as a not-for-profit organization. Together, Cece and Carlos led Bailadores de Bronce for 28 years ensuring the success that the group enjoys today and leaving a legacy of pride in Mexican music and dance!! Carlos handed the group's direction over to Julian Pérez and Jessica Bravo-Rohwer in 2010 and they led the group to it's 40th Anniversary sold-out show at Meany in 2012 and solidified its reputation as the premier Ballet Folklorico group in the Northwest. Since 2012 Bronce has been led by Adrian Olivas as its Executive/Artistic Director.
All dancers, instructors and the Board of Directors volunteer their time, energy and efforts to ensure that Bailadores de Bronce continues to thrive. We always remember that it is the dancers themselves, with their dedication and love of their culture and of each other as a family, who are the glue that keeps Bailadores de Bronce together.
The dedication of the dancers is seen during performances in their intricate footwork and refined choreography. The richness of the culture can be seen in the beautiful costumes from the various regions of Mexico. The high energy and enthusiasm of the dancers transcends the stage and is felt by the audience at each performance. Bailadores de Bronce portrays the positive aspects of the Mexican culture in the broader community, breaking down cultural barriers and building bridges within the community.
Rehearsals & Membership:
Rehearsals happen weekly and are free and open to the public. Minimum age to join as a dancer is 15 and no prior dance experience is required. During classes instructors teach dancers of varying ability the dance steps and choreography to songs from many regions of Mexico. Rehearsals are in the Seattle Center's Armory Building, 4th floor on Wednesday evenings from 7-9pm and Friday evenings from 7-10pm. We sometimes add Sunday morning rehearsals for large shows or guest choreographer seminars. Look at the schedule on the wall in front of the elevator for room assignment. You need folklorico boots or shoes to dance and we give you information on purchasing these.
The group is funded in part by fees charged at performances and all monies go towards costumes, rehearsal space and equipment. Please keep us in mind for your future celebrations, cultural events, conferences or any other public, private or business functions.
Please go to our "Contact Us" Menu to fill out a show request form.
***We are recruiting new board members beginning June 2015***
Active Board of Directors
Jessie Garcia, President
Jovita Ramirez, Vice President
Adrian Olivas - Executive Director
Jessica Rohwer, Secretary
Anadelia Torres, Treasurer
Christina Olivas - Wardrobe
Andrea LaVare Malagón
Ethnographer: Daniela Armendariz (Non Board Member)
Past Board Members:
Tanya Aguilar, Vice Chair 2007-2012
Juan Aguilar 2007-2013
Judy Aguilar 2007-2013
Virginia Wehr 2007-2012
Santiago Contreras 2007-2010
Denise Sheridan, 2007-2012
Mandy Canales, 2011-2012
Jesus Rodriguez, 2013
Diana Bohn, 2008-2015
Julian Perez, 2007-2014
Advisory Board Members
Carlos Gil, Jr.
Executive Director: Adrian Olivas, 2012-present
Head Instructor: Christina Olivas
Criteria for Selection to the
Bailadores de Bronce Board of Directors
or the Advisory Board
The mission of the Bailadores de Bronce is to promote the beauty and richness of Mexican traditions through music and dance in the Pacific Northwest. We seek to encourage a bridge of understanding among all people by sharing our culture, preserving our traditions and instilling pride in our youth.
We are seeking potential members who:
• Are interested in the mission of Bailadores de Bronce
• Have been recommended by an active Board member or dancer
• Are willing to commit their time to participate on the Board
• Have previous board experience
• Are interested in the Mexican/Latino culture
• Comply with 50l(c)(3) requirements
• Develop policies for the Board and the organization in general
• Comply with fiduciary responsibilities
• Oversee the organization’s budget
• Ensure there is adequate insurance coverage for the organization
• Maintain financial accountability
• Assist with planning responsibilities for large, major events
• Keep accurate, complete records, including minutes of meetings
• Board officers (especially Treasurer) keep knowledge and skills current for effective Board leadership
JOB DESCRIPTION FOR BOARD MEMBERS
1. Embrace the mission of the organization
2. Be aware of and carry out the legal responsibilities of the Board.
3. Serve as an ambassador between the organization and the community.
4. Identify contacts who could support our work by volunteering or contributing.
5. Attend 10 of the 12 scheduled Board meetings each year.
6. Play a leadership role in one major committee of the Board.
7. Support the organization with an annual financial contribution.
8. Help with fundraising efforts.
9. Provide open, honest feedback about organizational matters.
10. Support the organization and officers in times of controversy or crisis.
11. Fulfill commitments on time.
12. Exercise loyalty and confidentiality in your dealings with the Board.
13. Provide leadership on behalf of the organization.
WHAT BOARD MEMBERS CAN EXPECT FROM THE ORGANIZATION
1. Clear and reasonable expectations.
2. Consistent, timely communication from Board leadership.
3. Access to appropriate information about the organization.
4. Training (when appropriate), encouragement and strategic advice to carry out your tasks.
5. Respect for the time, views and talents you offer to the Board.