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COVID-19 won’t stop the show for these ballet folklórico dancers

During the global pandemic, the Ballet Folklorico Azteca isn’t performing for audiences. They’re performing for each other.

The Ballet Folklorico Azteca won’t be performing in front of large crowds because of COVID-19, but that won’t stop them from performing for each other.

In mid-September, the group held its first practice since March. It didn’t happen in their private studio at La Gran Plaza, but in an empty church parking lot in south Fort Worth.

"We’re outdoors and there’s plenty of space and we’re fortunate that we’re able to use this parking lot,” said ballet director Carol Alvarado.

It was a small bright spot in a difficult year.

“Everything just got canceled,” Alvarado said. “This year we celebrate our 45th anniversary, and unfortunately, we had to cancel our trip to Disney World in July as well as all of our other big shows and our anniversary show, everything."

The pandemic brought pain, but also perspective.

“I was actually really sad about it,” said dancer Alina Almaraz. “But that’s OK because I still got to see [my fellow dancers]. A lot of them are still alive and breathing and that’s the most thankful thing that I have.”

Through it all, the dancers learned what matters most, isn’t the audience in front of them, but the dancers beside them, and the heritage they carry inside.