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