Hola! My name is Ericka and I am the co-director and founder of Grupo Folklorico Echale Porras. I am 23 years young and I love to dance. I recently graduated from UCI with a major in Biological Sciences and a minor in Psychology and Social Behavior.
I have 5 years of experience in folklorico. I began dancing my senior year of high school for cultural events and then continued my passion for dance in college. At UCI, I danced all 4 years and I had the privilege to direct Ballet Folklorico de UCI my senior year. I have danced many regions of Mexico but I continue to yearn for more knowledge in my culture and the art of dance. Because of this, I choose to attend workshops and events that will help me grow as a dancer, teacher, and student. While at UCI and after graduating, I, along with my fiance Andres, began our own group which we now host at James Madison Elementary in Santa Ana under the MPNA Green Program.
Our passion for “el folklore” is so big we give our job everything we’ve got 4 days a week. I could not be more proud of these kids and even more thankful for the wonderful parents who support the group, us the teachers, and their children. I am a very happy and blessed “folklorico mom” of 40 children.
Thanks to you all Andres and I are living our dream. We hope to help each and every student of ours reach theirs as well. We are here to serve you and offer the best folklorico education we can give. Gracias!
Hello, my name is Andres and I am the Co-Director/Founder of Grupo Folklorico Echale Porras. I am a 25-year-old UCI alumni who’s currently working as a Software Engineer 9-5.
The way I usually describe myself to others is by stating I am a “Dancing Software Engineer” because although I went to school for Software Engineering one of my greatest passions has been dancing Folklorico, and that has evolved to teaching in these past recent years. I started dancing Folklorico when I was 13 years old after being, for lack of a better word, “forced” and looking back I cannot be more happy that was the case. My primary group I’ve been dancing with was Cielito Lindo de Perris under the direction of Silvia Loza, however, I’ve danced with multiple groups throughout my tenure. In my 11 years, I’ve performed at various venues throughout the state, and even in places like Vegas.
However one of the highlights of my dance career was when I was contracted, as a part of Relampago del Cielo to perform in California Adventure’s “Viva Navidad Street Party” as a folklorico dancer. After performing in the show for two seasons I finally decided to join UCI’s folklorico group and it was the best decision I’ve made. Shortly after joining I was made an instructor, one of few, in charge of teaching and choreographing pieces to a group of 40-50 college students. The next year I came back as a special advisor/sponsor to the group. Ballet Folklorico de UCI is where I met Ericka, whom after becoming my partner, became my best friend and, as of this past summer, my fiance.
Folklorico has given me so many opportunities and opened so many doors that I do not know where I would be currently without it. I hope to teach and instill this deep-seated love for the art into many more dancers young and old and cannot express how honored I am to be able to teach your kids this art.