Ballet Folklorico Quetzal, founded in 2000, is a professional Mexican folk dance troupe in Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley, with a foundation in traditional Mexican Folk Dances, brings awareness on the contributions of heritage, the troupe is integrated by youth under the direction and Choreography of Rosy Cortes.
Rosy Cortes main focus is to bring her knowledge of the bold influences in the Mexican traditional dances to the youth, keeping them out of the streets and engaged in healthy activities during their after school time, She has been coordinated dance lessons at Madison Elementary School since 2004, among other youth recreational and prevention programs around the San Gabriel Valley. "When children enjoy the class, they learn discipline, cultural awareness which celebrate cultural identity, feel that they belong to a youth group, share their talents to the community and feel proud of themselves", Rosy says.
Ballet folklorico Quetzal, promotes cultural awareness and youth engagement into the community by introducing students to perform in public events while they gain valuable marketing, design, and project management experience. The Troupe also participate in educational workshops, lectures and seeks in partnerships with other organizations with the goal to exchange cultural, ethnic and art knowledge. They have been performed in numerous events throughout the City of Pasadena, Los Angeles, Orange County and the San Gabriel Valley.
The Troupe's name "Quetzal" is after a bird species, considered divine in mesoamerica, found from southern Mexico to western Panama, it was thought that the "Resplendent Quetzal" could not be bred or held for any long time in captivity, and indeed it was noted for usually killing itself soon after being captured or caged, for this reason it is a traditional symbol of liberty.
The name "quetzal" (/kɛtsˈɑːl/ or /ˈkɛtsəl/) is from Nahuatl quetzalli, quetz = "“to raise, lif" used to refer to an upstanding plume of feathers.