Spreading Spanish culture through the drama and passion of Flamenco in New Jersey

METUCHEN, New Jersey (WABC) -- The mission of Alborada is simple: to entertain and educate people of all ages on the beauty of Spanish culture through the passionate, dramatic and contagious moves of flamenco throughout the tri-state area.

"Alborada wants to preserve the regional dances, which are such a rich cultural gem. A lot of these dances could be lost, especially here in the United States because people aren't getting to see them," said Lisa Botalico, Associate Artistic Director of Alborada Spanish Dance Theater.

Alborada, which was originally founded in 1965, has been spreading the art of flamenco in schools, senior centers, restaurants and full stage productions.

"Flamenco itself is so emotional. It goes from joyous one minute to soul searching, drama and then bursting into power, passion and defiance," said Botalico.

For Krystina Moreno, a principal dancer for Alborada, flamenco connects her to her Cuban and Spanish family who live here in the U.S. and abroad.

"It brings joy to my family when they see me perform something they grew up learning in their country," said Moreno.

"You don't have to be a dancer to do flamenco. You just have to have passion and express emotion. Some people turn to writing, some people turn to karate, why not turn to dance?" said Moreno.

"This is my family history. This is my heritage coming out trying to show these children our love for the dance. It's so cultural and educational. It doesn't matter what age you are, flamenco is from your soul. If you feel like you can dance a little bit, join us and we will get you to learn stuff that you wouldn't think you would've been able to learn," said Eva Lucena, Artistic Director of Alborada Spanish Dance Theatre.

To hear more amazing stories of community leaders in our area, join ABC7 in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.

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