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Nassau BOCES students dance with Ballet Folklorico Nacional

perfromers work with boces students  
Kevin Maldonado, a Hempstead Middle School student attending Nassau BOCES Rosemary Kennedy School, learns how to play an authentic shell rattle from Ballet Folklorico director Angelica Ecamilla.


Ballet Folklorico Nacional of Milwaukee visited Nassau BOCES Rosemary Kennedy School (RKS) to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage month. The dance group performed and then conducted workshops, imparting their heritage and culture to the students with special needs.

The students learned about the use of different instruments and how the Aztecs used them to communicate between villages or how a rattle could be used to keep them safe from prey. The lead dancer was in the traditional regalia with an elaborate feathered Aztec headdress. Members of the dance troupe were dressed in colorful costumes. They taught the historic moves of the “White Eagle” followed by each RKS student taking a partner to participate in the national folk dance of Mexico, “Jarabe Tapatio,” commonly known as “The Mexican Hat Dance.”

Workshops were given at elementary, middle and high school levels, and gave the RKS students the opportunity to learn coordination, cooperation, different sounds and rhythm all while seeing the colorful dance and listening to drum music. The art of trick roping with the lasso was also demonstrated in the “Dance of the Rope.”

“We are delighted to have the Ballet Folklorico come to here to enrich our school community and learn about Hispanic culture.” said Dr. Elise Sobol, PTA Cultural Arts Committee Co-Leader and high school music teacher at the Nassau BOCES Rosemary Kennedy School.

Part of the Nassau BOCES Department of Special Education, the Rosemary Kennedy School provides an outstanding program of comprehensive educational services that develops students' academic, social-emotional, and pre-vocational skills to the fullest extent possible so that they can become productive members of society. The schools multidisciplinary team designs strategies to achieve the goals and objectives established in each student's Individual Education Plan (IEP). Traditional educational methods are used in conjunction with state-of-the-art technology to provide motivating programs for students.