Huatulco’s New Dance Academy

By Brooke Gazer

Huatulco has moved up another rung on the cultural ladder with the opening of Teresa Sanchez’s “Academia Profesional de Danza Corsan”. Teresa has been offering classes in Ballet and Modern Jazz at “The Casa de Cultura” over the past five years but as more of the beginners moved into the intermediate levels, a larger space was required. With some help from her husband, she was finally able to open the new dance academy on Calle Cocotillo. Teresa brings a wealth of dance experience to our community and we are fortunate to have her among us.

Like most professional dancers, she started at an early age and devoted years to arduous training. Teresa began dancing at the tender of age seven and by twelve had been accepted into the Professional School of Classical and Contemporary Dance in Puebla, where she studied for five years. She continued to study various forms of dance in addition to choreography at the Royal Academy of Dance, part of the University of Puebla. While at the School for Teaching Mexican Folkloric Dance she also received private tutorage in classical Ballet from Josiane Raiga, a former prima ballerina of the Paris Opera Company. Josiana recognized Teresa’s potential and helped her to spend a year in Paris, studying Classical Ballet and Choreography.

After joining the professional company “El Quinto del Sol”, as one of the principle ballerinas, the company was invited to France. At the Buglione Theatre in Paris this company of forty dancers preformed for three months, thrilling audiences with a spectacular combination of Classical Ballet and Mexican Folkloric Dance.

In 2003, the Barceló Hotel offered Teresa Sanchez a position in Huatulco as both a choreographer and a principal dancer. She accepted in the spirit of adventure intending to stay for a season before returning to the company in Puebla. Like many of us she was mesmerized by the natural beauty of Huatulco and never left.

Despite years of grueling preparation the career span of a professional dancer is relatively short. Their life is filled with a rigorous schedule of training, rehearsal and performance. In 2006, Teresa decided it was time to move her career toward teaching, beginning with five little girls. She now has 70 students from toddlers to late teens plus an adult class focusing on exercise and body toning. Although she says she misses the adulation and applause of performing, her energy is now focused totally on her students and in transmitting her passion for the Art of Dance.

Teresa continues to offer beginners Ballet at the “Casa de Cultura” for about 25 little girls. Her new, larger facility is used for the 25 intermediate and 20 advanced students. Many of these teenagers are studying both classical ballet and modern jazz. The minimum time commitment for either style is 5 hours per week but many dedicate over 20 hrs weekly. Teresa’s talent and devotion as a teacher combined with the enthusiastic commitment of her students has yielded exceptional results and our community reaps the benefits from their hard work.

Since she began teaching, Teresa has honored Huatulco with two dance performances a year and each year she outdoes herself. The first performance I attended was called “Tierra Y Mar” and I was astounded by the choreography which integrated classical ballet with modern dance using a variety of skill levels from budding baby ballerinas to accomplished performers. In recent years, the performances of some of the older, dedicated teens could rival that of professional artists. Word has spread locally about the quality of these shows and audience attendance has swelled to the point that the auditoriums could no longer accommodate those wishing to attend. Last year the performances were divided with Ballet and Jazz being performed on separate nights, both to packed houses of about 500.

This December three separate shows will be presented. (See the event calendar for details). In order to give her students additional exposure, Teresa would like to invite people to “commission” a show through the Academy for private functions. She requires about one month notice to prepare and the fee would be whatever form of gratuity the audience feels appropriate.

As anyone who has attended one of these spectacular shows might imagine, the preparation and cost of the numerous costumes is a challenge. If you enjoy sewing, you would be welcomed into the circle of volunteer “costumers” currently made up primarily of dedicated parents. Donations of fabric, accessories, trimmings such as like marabou, beads or sequins and possibly used drapes or evening gowns would also be greatly appreciated.

  • Cocotillo Manz 5 esquina Rosa Laurel
  • TEL: 958 587 0183
  • CEL: 958 106 7169