El Corazon de Mexico History

Elaina Hernandez, Director and Founder

In 1996, “El Corazon de Mexico”, which translates to “The Heart of Mexico”, was founded in Toledo, Ohio by director, Elaina Hernandez. Originally beginning with a total of nine members, but has grown to a family of over 60 dancers ranging in ages six to forty-one years. 

“El Corazon de Mexico” strives to keep cultural traditions alive by demonstrating the beauty and charm of Mexico by performing from a repertoire of over 100 dances. Mexico is made up of 31 states and one federal district, each state has its own style of music, dance, and costume. Our costumes are designed by Elaina Hernandez and crafted by Christine Soto. Each performance gives the audience a look into the art of folklorico. 

Our dancers are asked to hold a sincere desire to learn Mexican dancing and traditions, along with the dedication of putting in hard work and weekly practices throughout the entire year. In return, they receive a familiarity in their heritage, leadership skills, and an education in the history and culture of Mexico. Their talents gather together to fabricate a beautiful and exciting performance at every venue. 

Elaina Hernandez has studied under Maestro Carlos Vega of Mexico, Maestro Sam Cortez, Maestro Rene Cardoza of Chicago, Maestro Placido Lopez Guerrero of Colima, Mexico, Maestro Bladimir Bravo of Tamaulipas, Mexico, Maestra Karina Estrella of California and Maestro Jose Tena of New Mexico. She has been choreographing for over 20 years, passing on the teachings of her past instructors to her students. 

El Corazon de Mexico provides dancers with costumes and training at no cost to them or their families. Most members of the company are kids of Mexican heritage born in the U.S. Classes are taught in English providing, at the same time, an opportunity for them to connect with their heritage in a safe environment where they find acceptance, whether or not they speak Spanish or look Mexican. 

For 25 years, El Corazon de Mexico has been sharing the beauty of Mexico through Folkloric dance throughout the Midwest. This group has grown to be the largest Mexican folkloric dance group in the State of Ohio. Their continued devotion to the traditions of folklorico will preserve the Hispanic culture in Ohio for generations.


August 1996
First performance at Fiesta Mexicana
Festival Latino Columbus, OH
Cinco de Mayo Celebration at Toledo Zoo
December 27, 2007
Disney World in Florida
January 2008
Barack Obama Rally University of Toledo
September 2010
Diamante Award for Adult Leadership
September 2011
Latino Festival Lexington, KY
October 2011
FLOC North Carolina
February 20, 2016
Bajo Las Estrellas in California
Ohio Arts Council Ohio Heritage Fellowship
2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
Ohio Arts Council Traditional Arts Apprentice Grant
January 2, 2019
Disney World in Florida
June 2019
Mid Ohio Valley Multi Cultural Festival West Virgina
November 2019
Merit Award from Arts Commission Toledo
September 2020
Mexican Consultant 16th of September Celebration video featured in Mexico City
September 2021
Welcome America Virtual Event
25th Anniversary