How Two East Aldine Sisters Are Taking the Lead After Attending Dance Classes at a BakerRipley Community Center


Building self-confidence with every step

For Maria Esperanza Saucedo and her family, a passion for Mexican Folkloric dancing runs deep. The mother, her son and two daughters, 9-year-old Camila and 8-year-old Sared, have been attending Folkloric dance classes at BakerRipley’s East Aldine Campus for months. When Camila and Sared started taking classes in June 2022, it didn’t take long for the girls to get hooked. Months later, when they had the chance to show their classmates at Humble Elementary School what they learned, they jumped at the chance.

“They first performed during ‘Celebrate Me Day’ at their school. It’s an event that is held once a month to celebrate different cultures,” Maria said. “I dressed the girls in Jarabe Tapatio, and they asked their teachers to play the song so they could dance right there in the classroom.”

School administrators were so impressed with Sared’s and Camila’s dancing abilities, they invited the girls to help start a Folkloric dance group at their school. At first, there were plans to have a teacher run the class. But not long after the groups inception, Maria got a call with a surprising request:

“They wanted my daughters to be the teachers of the group, and we accepted.” Maria said.

Sharing traditions & learning leadership

The school group kicked off in January and there are currently 25-30 students in the group. With the help of their mother, Sared and Camila lead the class, teaching new dances to their classmates.

“I am very proud of my daughters and the impact they’re having on their school,” Maria said. “Now they and I are well known as Folkloric dance teachers. Even the parents of the children greet us outside the school like the folkloric dance teachers!”

Along with teaching the class at their school, Sared and Camila still take Folkloric dance classes at the BakerRipley East Aldine Campus. Alma Ramos, the girls’ dance instructor, says while the sisters have already accomplished so much, the possibilities are endless.

“When I found out that they are teaching in their school what they have learned with me in my classes I felt very proud,” Alma said. “Knowing that they share the same passion as me for the Folkloric dance makes me very happy.”

Endless possibilities for the future

Maria says besides honing their dancing skills and teaching those skills to others, Camila and Sared have learned something even more important: confidence.

“They have danced for many people and learned that they are capable of teaching other children how to dance” Maria said. “Now they are aware that when they grow up, they can be leaders and guide many people. The know they can achieve everything they set minds to.”

The BakerRipley East Aldine Campus is a place of welcome, engagement and collaboration where Neighbors (youth, adult, seniors and families) can enjoy a variety of holistic programs and resources.