ONTARIO SCHOOL DISTRICT

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Aiken Dance Troupe

One of the goals at Aiken Elementary is for students to learn about other cultures. With this in mind, teacher Anabel Ortiz and her husband, Abel Chavolla, formed "El Espiritu de Mexico" ("The Spirit of Mexico") dance troupe in November, 2002. Today, 34 students from a variety of cultures and grade levels particpate in the group, with dances choreographed by Mrs. Ortiz and her husband.

"My husband and I performed for a number of years and we wanted to teach the little ones so this tradition can be preserved in our area," Mrs. Ortiz said. "I also believe that extracurricular activities should enrich our student's lives, and that is exactly what this project does."

The El Espiritu de Mexico dancers have been performing for various groups. This year, they chose to feature dances from the state of Jalisco in Mexico and next year will add dances from another state.