Welcome to El Ballet Folklórico Estudiantil!

Committed to education through the performing arts.

Mariachi Music
Traditional Mexican Dance

About Us

El Ballet Folklórico Estudiantil is a non-profit organization focused on preserving the Mexican culture and enriching children’s lives through dance, music, and education.

For over 25 years, El Ballet Folklórico Estudiantil has been the leader in providing Hispanic cultural programs to Michigan.

The El Ballet Folklórico Estudiantil dance program teaches students the artistry of folkloric dance originating from Mexico. Through focus and discipline, students learn to fine tune their craft and perform throughout the Midwest region.

El Ballet Folklórico Estudiantil also offers instrumental and vocal instruction for beginners and intermediate musicians. Students learn technique and musicianship through classical repertoire and Mariachi style presentations.

Classes & Lessons

Register now for Winter 2018 Mexican Folkloric Dance & Mariachi Music Classes!

Register for classes

Pay Registration Fee Online


  • Intermediate Folklórico Dance: Wednesdays, 5pm–6pm
  • Beginning Folklórico Dance: Wednesdays, 6pm–7pm
  • Music Classes: Saturdays
    • Beginning Guitar 10:00am–10:30am
    • Singing/Voice 10:30am–11:00am
    • Advanced Ensemble 11:00am–12:00pm
    • Beginning Mariachi 12:00pm–12:45pm
    • Intermediate Guitar 12:00pm–1:00pm
  • Private Lessons: Guitar, Violin, Trumpet, Piano, and Voice by appointment (call or see instructor for times)

Our Lady of Guadalupe Educational & Activity Centers
2316 W. Coldwater Rd. Flint 48505

Registration Fee:
Registration fee is $50 for the semester. This fee covers enrollment in multiple classes and lessons.
The registration fee can be paid online through the EBFE Online Service Store.
Guitar rentals available at EBFE: $10/month
Violin rentals available at Schwartz Violins, G-4137 Fenton Rd, 766-1450

For more information:
Call (810) 736-3700 or (281) 935-1311
Email EBFE@msn.com

Register for classes

Pay Registration Fee Online


Upcoming Events

Click on the events below to view more information.



Our Students

I might be able to go to Mexico and I am learning some of the dances from there.
like to be able to dance there in Mexico some day.

5th Grade

I am starting to learn Spanish by singing with the mariachi.
And I’m more confident in
my school choir and orchestra!

7th Grade
Violin and Voice

I’ve learned a great deal on how to adapt. Sometimes the music gets really confusing but the instructors help me with
learning the content, playing it how I want to play it, and usually it comes out great!

11th Grade
Guitar and Dance


Susana Quintanilla

Susana Quintanilla

Founder and Director of El Ballet Folklórico Estudiantil

Maestra Susana Quintanilla is classically trained Mexican folkloric dance who began her study at the Insituto Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. She has studied under such accomplished as Amalia Hernández (Ballet Folklórico de México), Rafael Zamarripa (Universidad de Colima), Francisco Bravo (Insituto Nacional de Bellas Artes), Graciela Tapia (in Los Angeles), Luz María Gallego (in Pánuco, Veracruz) and Miguel Vélez (Universidad de Veracruz).

Over the course of her carreer, Maestra Quintanilla has organized and produced the Midwest Folkloric Dance Workshops (Flint, Lansing, and Holland, MI), Folkloric Dance Seminars for EBFE students (Mexico, D.F and San Juan del Río, Querétaro) and the Huapango Dance Workshop (Houston, TX). She has brought about youth performances with Mono Blanco, Sones de México, Los Folkloristas, Zazhil, Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández and Mariachi Guadalajara. She has danced competitively in Concurso de Huapango, San Joaquín (Querétaro) and International Folkloric Dance Competition (Chicago) where EBFE was awarded the only group to placeing, placing second in the competition.

Maestra Quintanilla and the dancers she has trained have performed in concert with such internationally reknown as Angeles Ochoa, Linda Rondstadt, Lola Beltrán, Lucero, Guadalupe Pineda, Lila Downs, Pepe Aguilar, Pablo Montero, Pedro Fernández, Vikki Carr, Mariachi Vargas de Tecatitlán, Mariachi Cobre and Mariachi Los Camperos.

In effort to preserve the Hispanic culture within her community, Maestra Quintanilla has seen that EBFE has received continuous funding. She has helped the organization receive grant funding from Ruth Mott Foundation, Community Foundation of Flint, Bank One, Citizens Bank, Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, Michigan Dept of Education Teacher and the Texas Humanities Council.

Always seeking cultural preservation and continuous improvement, Maestra Quintanilla’s teaching focus for EBFE is to develop dancers as instructors with professional performance experience and academic knowledge in culture and literacy as well as to effectively empower all students with pride in themselves and respect for all ethnic groups.

Casandra Flores

Casandra Flores

Dance Instructor

Casandra Flores is a student at Oakland University where she majors in History. She has been dancing for over 20 years, studying folklórico, ballet, tap, and jazz. She enjoys sharing her Mexican cultural heritage through dancing and teaching folklórico dance, believing that this helps keep her cultural traditions alive. Dance has taken her on travels other states and countries including attendance at the International Mariachi Conference in Tucson and a performance with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra in Ontario, Canada.

Nathan Cross

Nathan Cross

Music Instructor

Nathan Cross earned his Bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Michigan-Flint. Nathan performs on trumpet with several groups around Genesee county including the El Ballet Folklórico Estudiantil Mariachi and the Lapeer Symphony Orchestra. He has studied Mariachi music with José Hernández, director of Sol de México, at the National Mariachi Workshop for Educators in 2014. In addition to performing, Nathan has studied music composition and arranging with Patrick Prouty (University of Michigan), a published composer from Detroit. He gives private instruction for trumpet and teaches beginning guitar and general music classes.

Piaras Kent

Piaras Kent

Music Instructor

Piaras Kent has been playing the violin for 15 years and started out playing fiddle/folk tunes in his parents’ parlor. He went from there to taking lessons at the Flint Institute of Music, where he played in the Flint youth Philharmonia for 1 year and in the Flint Youth Symphony for 3 years. While at the FIM, Piaras also won a concerto competition, the Dort String Scholarship and played for 2 years in the Dort String Quartet.  He has continued to be closely involved with the FIM for the past 12 years and has assisted and taught at many of the summer camps and classes offered throughout the year.

Piaras achieved his Bachelor’s degree in violin performance from Oakland University in Auburn Hills. While there, he won several awards for his high musicianship and dedication to music performance. From there, he went to Michigan State University for his Master’s Degree and is currently getting his Doctorate there as well. In addition, Piaras performs regularly with several orchestras including, but not limited to, Midland Symphony, Oakland Symphony, Southwest  Michigan Symphony, and the Michigan Philharmonic.

He joined El Ballet Folklorico Estudiantil in September of 2014 and has been highly involved as an instructor and performer ever since. He has traveled to many places as a member of the Mariachi band, most recent of which was to Las Vegas for a 6-day conference José Henandez.

Mike Abbasspour

Mike Abbasspour

Youth Music Director

Mike Abbasspour is a guitarist of 12 years with influences of Flamenco, classical, folk and other styles. He is also experienced with singing, piano, and percussion. For two years Mike has been teaching ensembles ranging from beginners to advanced players. Currently he is studying music at the University of Michigan-Flint.


In a study conducted by the National Endowment for the Arts on at risk youth, students involved in the performing arts, both in school and with structured community programs, have strong links to positive outcomes. Children that have the opportunity to engage in the fine arts are inclined to do better in academics, make better citizens and choose a higher career path.


Academic Outcomes

Academic Outcomes

Students with access to the arts in high school were 3X more likely than students who lacked those experiences to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Community Engagement

Community Engagement

47% of young adults with a rich arts background showed higher rates of volunteering.

Career Goals

Career Goals

50% of young adults that participated in a high school arts programs are expected to work in a professional field like law, education or medicine.



Those who had exposure and training in the arts voted at a rate of 43%.


A leader in cultural and dance instruction to Michigan for over 25 years, EBFE programs offer classes in ensemble work, goal setting and personal growth through the arts. Students have the opportunity to learn with like-minded students and gain confidence through performance. Each class is staffed with experienced instructors highly trained in Mexican folkloric traditions and deeply committed to education.


Photo credits by Saúl González, Sudeep Studio, Nathan Cross, Ben Cunningham

Other Dance Info

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