video ∣ Amalia Hernandez and El Ballet Folklorico de Mexico
By Duncan Tonatiuh
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As a child, Amalia always thought she would grow up to be a teacher—that is, until she saw dancers perform in her town square. She was fascinated by the way they twirled and swayed, and she knew that someday she would be a dancer, too. When she began to study dance, she studied many different types, including ballet and modern, under some of the best teachers in the world. But she didn't stop there. She also traveled throughout Mexico to learn its regional dances. Soon, she founded her own dance company, El Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, where she integrated her knowledge of ballet and modern dance with folkloric dances. Her company then began performing all over the country—and soon all over the world—and became an international sensation that still tours today.