Folklorico at Abraham Lincoln High School

Where is it now?

Folklorico Dancers

Mr. Manthe

Folklorico Dancers

Baile Folklorico are traditional Mexican dances that emphasize folk culture with ballet characteristics and are from cities including Michoacan, Guerrero, Sinaloa, Jalisco, and other regions of Mexico. Jalisco is the most well-known style of Folklorico due to their matching colorful sets that include a very wide skirt with ribbon stripes that attract the attention of the audience. It also includes traditional Mariachi music that always lightens up the mood in the crowd.

Folklorico was first started at Abraham Lincoln High School in the 1990s by Rosalia Novotny, who was a former teacher at Lincoln. Novotny established the beginning, intermediate, advanced courses as well as the varsity team, Xochitl Cultural. 

The Folklorico program went through some difficulties during the 2020-2021 school year, like facing the cancellation of the Folklorico classes, which could’ve also happened to the varsity team Xochitl Cultural, if it wasn’t for the support that came from parents and students. 

It was frustrating to see how close a 30+ year legacy was to disappearing,” said junior Andrea Rocha, a member of the varsity team.

Folklorico at Lincoln has had some adjustments like new teachers (Crystal Ortiz & Megan McAlister), and only offering beginning and intermediate classes, as well as Xochitl Cultural. The two teachers that manage the Folklorico program are Ms. McAlister, who has been a dance instructor here for three years, and Ms. Ortiz who is new to Lincoln.

Ortiz, who was born and raised in San Jose, started dancing at the age of three but picked up Folklorico at the age of six. Though her passion for dance started at a young age, it carried through to her adult life and changed a lot along the way including dance experience with jazz, tap, and ballet.  

Ortiz also states that she would like to be able to take Xochitl to a mariachi festival, ”so they can have the experience of learning from a well known maestro from Mexico.” Said Ortiz.  

Ortiz’s passion is rubbing off on her students as well, as Junior Montserrat Rocha Trejo states that 

Xochitl has been such a fun group to be a part of…everyone has put in a lot of hard work and dedication into our dances even after the difficulties we faced of not being able to perform in front of an audience last year.” Said Trejo.

“Xochitl has been a great experience with great people, and I’m excited to dance in the Celebrando show in December,” said Varsity Freshman Vincent Rogers. 

Even though most team members are upset over the fact that they weren’t able to perform last year, they are ready to come back this year with even more enthusiasm and are thrilled to be working with amazing teachers.

You can find more information and details about future performances on the Lincoln Performing Arts website ( and the Xochitl Cultural Instagram page at @officialxochitlultural.