Editor's note: CultureMap is proud to present the third installment in our partnership with KLRU Collective. Collective is dedicated to finding unique, creative and interesting stories about the Austin art scene.
KLRU celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month this September with a range of special programs and events that represent the Latino experience. Collective joins the festivities with our "Austin High Ballet Folklórico" playlist.
Stephen F. Austin High School's Ballet Folklórico program is more than a for-credit class. Through collaboration and leadership, it encourages participants to grow academically and socially.
"In the arts, whether it's folklórico or it's painting or it's drawing, [students] can shine," says Maura Patricia Masters, director of Austin High Ballet Folklórico.
"I sometimes miss Mexico," says Felipe Hernandez, folklórico captain, in the video above. "By dancing, it helps me remember."
Many of the students who participate in folklórico are English language learners, and they will be the first generation in their families to go to college. Whereas they may feel inadequate in the classroom among their native English-speaking peers, on the stage they can truly express themselves.
"In the arts, whether it's folklórico or it's painting or it's drawing, they can shine," says Maura Patricia Masters, director of Austin High Ballet Folklórico. "And I think it keeps a lot of them in school. It gives them a reason to come, where they feel like they can contribute."
Meet the students who proudly represent their art, culture and school, and watch their performances on this playlist.
---KLRU-TV, Austin PBS is dedicated to telling stories about our community. KLRU highlights what makes Austin unique — whether music, arts or public issues — by creating and distributing award-winning original content. As a nonprofit educational organization, KLRU also helps prepare children for success and creates lifelong learning opportunities for all.