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Patricia Astorga-Casey

Patricia Astorga-Casey

Artistic Director/Founder/Choreographer

Throughout her artistic career, Mrs. Astorga has undertaken various dance disciplines including classical ballet, tap, modern dance, Folklore Mexicano and Flamenco. She began her training at the early age of 7yrs old at the world-renowned school of Amalia Hernández (Ballet Folklórico de México), for 5 consecutive summers. She was one of the founding members of Ballet Folklórico de Pacifico (currently under the direction of her sister (Adriana Astorga-Gainey). In 2005, she moved to Houston, Texas and formed "Sabor Mexico Theatrical Dance Co. "(Folklórico Mexicano). In Houston, she presented her work at the most respected theaters, including Hobby Center (Zilka Hall), Verizon Wireless Theater and Houston's Museums.

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Mariann Sanchez

Mariann Sanchez

Vice President/Treasurer

Mariann Sanchez was born in México City and raised in San Diego. She has both a B.A. and an M.A. in International Relations from the University of San Diego and is currently employed at the University of San Diego. In 2010, Mariann joined Danzarts and became a company dancer in both of La Esencia Flamenca and Sabor México Theatrical Company. To date, Mariann has been fortunate to have been able to study in Spain and San Diego with Flamenco masters such as Domingo Ortega, Farruquito, Oscar Valero, María Serrano, Emilio Ochando, and Jesús Carmona. Additionally, she has been able to collaborate and perform with tremendously talented local artists. As a dancer, her goal is to transmit the love and passion she feels for this art form, while educating the audiences about its history and culture. As the Vice President and company member of Danzarts, Mariann is constantly seeking out different opportunities for offering affordable classes, scholarships, community performances and creative collaborations. This year Mariann had the privilege of co-producing a show called “Drums & Strings of the World,” with Patricia Astorga Casey, collaboration of live Music and Dance from México, Spain and West Africa.

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Monica Ferraro

Monica Ferraro

Business Development

San Jose State University, B.S. International Business/Minor: Latin America Studies 1989 Community advocacy activities focused on improving the lives of children have been a part of Monica's life since the early 90's starting with the Bay Area Big Sister's organization and later, the San Diego Chapter. After relocating to San Diego, she taught Sunday school for over 12 years at several local Catholic churches followed by participation in AWANA's. Employing her 20+ years of experience in the technology sector with such companies as Motorola and Hewlett Packard, several San Diego nonprofits have utilized her Marketing/PR, Community Development/Outreach and Grant Writing expertise: Project Concern International, Birthline Pregnancy Support Centers, Maranatha Christian Schools and DanzArts Children's Academy. Of greater focus in the last two years is securing DanzArts as a cultural arts pillar in the community. Being a part of the DanzArts family is EXCITING because there are numerous opportunities to bring Patricia's vision of a world class academy to fruition; ultimately sharing the vibrant plethora of Latin cultures with ALL our inner city neighborhoods and one day, the world!

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Paul Kuhns

Paul Kuhn

Parent Liason

Paul was born and raised in South San Diego. He was born into a home with a white father and Mexican mother. He spent most of his childhood and young adulthood with his mother’s side of the family and as a result, he grew to admire and respect his Hispanic heritage.

Paul soon learned that he had a passion to serve others. in September of 2004, he earned his Pharmacy Technician License at PIMA with honors and became nationally certified. And to add to his joy he married the love of his life a short time later. In February of 2005, Paul was blessed with the opportunity to put his passion into action as he was hired on at Sharp Healthcare and quickly began using his strong communication skills to help patients in need. He continues to work for Sharp Healthcare to date. He and his wife have 2 daughters who dance with DanzArts Academy. Paul now continues to grow his passion by serving as the DanzArts Children’s Academy Parental Liaison. His role is to facilitate communication between parents and the academy. He assists in cultivating parental interest in their children’s dancing and helps develop families’ relationships with the Children’s Director, Tony Valencia.

Along with his wife Tracy and their 2 daughters, Paul is committed to upholding the vision and mission of DanzArts. Without a doubt, He is a proud dance dad.

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Patricia Cuevas

Patricia Cuevas

Community Partners Liaison

Ms. Cueva from San Diego, has always had a passion for the Arts. In 1998 she formed the Ballet Folklorico Tapatio (A Logan Heights Community based group) that performed at local Events. Ms. Cueva taught Ballet Folklórico for 22 years. Ms. Cueva has been very involved in local San Diego organizations such as creating the Logan Height Neighborhood Council, board member of Sherman height community center, Our Lady's school Alumni Association, and a few more. Her professional background includes Bilingual Studies, Child Development and a Bachelors in Human Resources. Ms Cueva loves being a member Danzarts because she wants to help promote the importance of the Arts through music and dance and this dance company is a perfect example of the arts. She especially enjoys the diversity of cultures DanzArts has within its dance company.

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Edna Murillo

Edna Murillo

DanzArt's Costume Coordinator

Edna Murillo was born and raised in Los Angeles County. She was first introduced to dancing ballet Folklorico when she was nine which ignited her love of dance. As her passion for dance developed, she explored various styles of dance (classical ballet, jazz, tap, modern) throughout her childhood and into her adulthood. At the age of 15, she also pursued studying abroad at the Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua to study the roots of Ballet Folklorico. Edna is the second of three generations of folkloric dancers and holds dancing close to her heart. Currently, she is the parent of a child who dances at DanzArts San Diego, Children’s Academy. Professionally, Edna is a School Social Worker with a B.A. and M.A. in Social Work, a Preliminary Administrative Services Credential, and is currently working on her M.A. in Education/Administration and Supervision degree. Edna has over 18 years of experience in working with children, coordinating services and involvement with Ballet Folklorico which gives her the skills needed to coordinate DanzArts of San Diego’s Children’s Academy costumes department.  

 

Tony Valencia

Tony Valencia

Director of Children's Academy/Media Representative

Tony was born and raised in San Diego CA. Always had a passion for dance and started with Ballet Folklorico Ixcuintla (in San Diego) at age 7. In 2011 joined Sabor Mexico Theatrical Company and have been a seasoned dancer as well as teaching the children’s Dance Academy. Tony has worked in Radio and TV since 2005 as Promotions Director & On-Air talent. Currently On-Air Talent on “Z90” (“Local Media of America”) & Production for “M.T.V”.

Giving back to our community is always a must and also serves as a Trustee for “Spreckels Organ Society” (Balboa Park) since 2015. By dance, we hope to help preserve our roots, culture, and traditions. After 26 years of dancing, it is important to encourage new generations to express themselves in dance and hold them to the highest standard in representing our culture.

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Tony Uribe

Tony Uribe

Marketing Director

Born and raised in San Diego, CA, Tony is no stranger to bicultural identities and has always worked to shine a spotlight on Latino arts and culture. Tony’s professional digital marketing experience includes developing outreach campaigns targeting US Hispanics by using Spanish content marketing strategies. Mr. Uribe has previous specialized PR experience in promotional events for local television and radio markets, and produced non-traditional marketing events for the Hollywood film industry utilizing his Bachelor of Science in Marketing. His passion for people and activities turned into co-founding regional hospitality and tourism lifestyle brands.

Tony strongly believes in community volunteer work and is an avid supporter of local entrepreneurs. He teaches digital marketing at the University of San Diego and has always been eager to develop as a Sabor Mexico company dancer since joining in 2012.

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Tracy Kuhns

Tracy Kuhn

Treasurer

Although Tracy’s roots aren’t directly stemmed from Latin America, she has loved the culture since childhood. She was born and raised in beautiful San Diego and has been married since 2004 to her husband of Hispanic heritage and together they raise their 2 wonderful daughters. Upon completion of High School, Tracy went on to Southwestern College to finish her Associate degree while taking medical classes at a nearby trade school. She found a love for bringing positivity into a child’s life while working for the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District. Tracy was able to work as a school clerk, a teacher’s aid, as well as a paraprofessional in Special Education within the district’s various schools and quickly, saw the way a positive attitude can change a child’s outlook on their own capabilities.


Before Tracy found DanzArts, she knew she wanted a dance company that would encourage and push her daughters to do their absolute best while building confidence and self-esteem; a company that cares about the child as a whole, with each one being unique and with abilities that vary. With much joy, she came upon DanzArts!


Tracy and her family have been a part of DanzArts since 2015. In 2017, Tracy was chosen by Patricia Astorga-Casey to be the Treasurer of the DanzArts fast-growing company. Patricia has a passion for a dancer’s success that is inviting and contagious! Tracy feels blessed to be not only the Treasurer of a growing company but a tool in bringing Patricia’s dream to fruition.

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Victor Murillo

Victor Murillo

Technology Director

Victor was born and raised in San Diego, CA. He has been in the Information Technology field since 2001. He currently holds a B.S. in Computer Science/Network Administration and a handful of certifications in Google Administration, Security, and A+. Victor has applied his technological skills at K-12 schools, the university level, and in the public sector. He has also sat on the board of directors for various youth organizations including Little League Baseball, Pop Warner Football, and Ballet Folklorico. He is currently the father of a child in DanzArts of San Diego, Children's Academy. 

DanzArts is a non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve Mexico & Spain’s heritage by raising cultural awareness and giving back to the community through dance.