Our History

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 Tuesday and Friday evenings from 7-10pm. 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.