Overall, it was a rewarding Saturday for 17-year-old Clovis West High School senior Carlos Herrera when four years of folklórico dancing paid off.
Herrera paired with classmate Leslie Peraza for a quick-moving performance of a dance from Chihuahua to win the high school duet division of the March 17 águilas de Oro Folklórico Dance Competition at Clovis West.
“It feels like another performance, but you get prizes at the end,” said Herrera as he clutched a trophy following the competition.
Herrera and Peraza rehearsed the Chihuahua dance starting two months ago to be ready for the competition.
That experience was repeated throughout the day as the second annual competition – the only one of its kind in the San Joaquín Valley – drew 60 competitors in the elementary, middle school, high school and adult categories.
Judging was done by Cecilio Loaiza of Tijuana’s Compañía de Danza Ticuán, Steven Valencia of Sacramento’s Ballet Folklórico Calidanza, and, Eleazar Rodarte of Grupo Folklórico Mexcaltitán of Inglewood.
The competition ran from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Competition director Julio Bustos, who directs Águilas de Oro and Teocalli, said next year’s event will be moved to the gym to accommodate a fast-growing event. Saturday’s competition was held in the high school cafeteria.
Solo: 1. Samai Estrada, Tierra Caliente, Águilas de Oro; 2. Angélica García, Jalisco, águilas de Oro; 3. Aimee Sandoval, Baja California, Águilas de Oro.
Duets: 1. Carlos Herrera and Leslie Peraza, Chihuahua, Teocalli; 2. Annie Herrera and Lunela Neri, Tamaulipas, Sabor de México; 3. John Solís and Gisel Villaseñor, Tamaulipas, Danzantes de Roosevelt.
Small Groups: 1. Esplendor, Nuevo León; 2. Mestizos del Valle, Veracruz; 3. Danzantes de Sunnyside, Chihuahua.
Large groups: 1. St. Agustine, Baja California; 2. Teocalli, Tixta Guerrero; 3. Costa del Pácifico, águilas de Oro.
Solo: 1. Sacnite Jiménez, Guerrero, Gaston; 2. Fernanda Rodríguez, Sinaloa, Esplendor; 3. Sofía González, Sinaloa, Esplendor.
Small group: 1. Kastner Intermediate, Baja California; 2. Teocalli, Baja California Sur; 3. Sabor de México, Sinaloa.
Large group: 1. Gaston, Veracruz; 2. Kastner Intermediate, Chiapas.
Solo: 1. Lorena de Corzo, Jalisco, Esplendor; 2. Shantel Maciel, Jalisco, Esplendor; 3. Shantel Maciel, Sinaloa, Esplendor.
Duets: 1. Daniela Galindo and José Mendoa, Nayarit, Alika de Nayar; 2. Óscar Bustos and Patricia Salgado, Chihuahua, Teocalli; 3. Grant Neri and Gil, Nayarit, Sabor de México.
Small groups: 1. Sabor de México; 2. Esplendor.
Large groups: 1. Alika de Nayar, Sinaloa; 2. Teocalli, Veracruz; 3. Esplendor, Colima.