dance group

Founded in 2011 by Kareli Montoya, Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles has graced venues including the Anaheim Convention Center, Orpheum Theater, Nokia Theater, Greek Theater, John Anson Ford Amphitheater, Santa Barbara Bowl, Valley Performing Arts Center, Staples Center, Tempe Center for the Arts, and Rady Shell at Jacobs Park. BFLA has worked with musicians Lila Downs, Pepe Aguilar, Mariachi Divas, Mariachi Los Camperos, Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán, Mariachi Vargas, and Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar.

BFLA assisted Disney Studios with the 2017 release of Coco, performing Pixar’s Coco Live at the Hollywood Bowl and on Disney+. They also performed at the 90th Academy Awards with a rendition of Coco’s Academy Award winning song, “Remember Me.”

Kareli Montoya’s professional career began at age fifteen, when she became the youngest dancer to perform at the legendary La Fonda de Los Camperos. She continued her professional dancing career while attending Cal State LA, where she received a bachelor’s degree in social work in 2011. Having become a first-generation college graduate, Kareli traveled to Mexico to study with Ballet Folklórico de la Universidad de Colima.

During her time in Colima, Kareli continued to acquire new techniques and a stronger passion for Folklórico which then led her to a return to Los Angeles with the goal of establishing her own professional dance company. From this drive, the Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles and BFLA Performing Arts Academy, currently known as Thee Academy, were born. She has choreographed for Disney Studios and for the off-Broadway musical Americano.


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