Welcome to the “Ballet Folklórico de San Antonio: A Vehicle of Empowerment and Cultural Preservation through Dance” digital history project. This project is an ongoing effort by St. Mary’s University graduate student Victoria Villaseñor and the Ballet Folklórico de San Antonio (BFSA) to preserve the history of the evolution of ballet folklórico as an integral piece of San Antonio cultural heritage.
The BFSA is the first folklórico dance company in San Antonio to achieve a 501c3 status as an educational institution. Understanding the development and growing acclaim of the BFSA is a window into the overall incorporation of Latino arts in mainstream American culture. Furthermore, the BFSA’s journey to becoming one of San Antonio’s leading entertainment and cultural trailblazers also offers a glimpse into the changing social and political landscape of a majority Latino city.
What you will find on this site
This website is designed to provide anyone from an average folklórico spectator to an academic researcher opportunity to understand the cultural and historical roots of folklórico dance in the United States. To develop an understanding, Victoria Villaseñor began by conducting oral histories with the Co-Executive Creative Director of BFSA, Boni Ramos. Boni and her family have been running the company since the late 1960s and hold over 40 years of dance experience. Villaseñor and Ramos have collaborated to gather and curate personal photos and archives of the BFSA, a glossary of folklórico dance, and a comprehensive overview of the BFSA’s evolution in the local entertainment industry. All these elements offer a different perspective to understanding ballet folklórico as it’s known today in San Antonio—a tradition deeply woven into the cultural identity of the city and many Latino communities across the Southwest.
Additionally, Villaseñor has compiled a bibliography of resources to direct humanities researches to further scholarship on this topic.