2004 - It all started when Paola Sumoza was a student at North Salem High School and a member of the M.E.Ch.A (Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan) club, the club organized a May 5th assembly for the entire school. Paola organized several comrades to present folk dances and that was the first public presentation. After that they were invited to the community events and that's how the adventure began.

2005 - One of those events was the most special, because they were asked if they had a name, or something that represented them. They had never thought about it, it was until that moment that the three co-founders, Mr. Margarito Sumoza, Paola Sumoza and Ma. Victoria Sumoza, began to propose ideas. They found one and decided to name the Ballet Folklórico Tlanese. The word "Tlanese" comes from the Nahuatl language that the Aztecs spoke, its meaning of the word is "dawn." This word was very significant for what they were doing because it was a new beginning for the group and for the dancers.

This year was also very important for the group not only chose a name but could register as an organization in the state of Oregon. So every April 25 we celebrate the official anniversary of the Ballet Folklórico Tlanese.

2006-Present In this year he joined the group as the artistic master Mr. Mauricio Ramírez, originally from the state of Oaxaca moved to Mexico City to pursue his dream and study at the National School of Folk Dance, thus becoming a professional dancer. Professor Mauricio has been in charge of choreographing the dances of our repertoire and of sharing his knowledge with the members of the group.

2007-Present Not having a place to practice was very complicated for the group so we were looking for a space for several months. Until we found the organization of Salem Square Dance Center that decided to rent a space where we could be more stable and give classes folklor

2012- We held our first Folkloric Dance Camp on August 20-31, 2012. The idea came from being able to continue sharing our knowledge with the community. Here they were able to learn story about the dances, basic steps of a dance that they would present to their relatives in the closing of the camp.

2013 - We received an invitation to perform at the May 5 festival in Portland Oregon, one of the area's largest festivals. Where they invite various folk groups, musicians, artisans, and much more. It was an honor to be part of this great event, which we were preparing very hard to be able to bring the best show.

This same year we held our first Dia de Muertos event open to the community. In order to keep our traditions and customs alive and the community learn a little more about this important celebration. The event was held at North Salem High School and we worked together with the school's M.E.Ch.A club and with the families of the group who, thanks to their infinite work, have been able to continue to do so.

2014- We hosted the Ampersan music group in the city of Mexico. A group that has maintained a constant relationship with traditional Mexican music. This event was very emotional as we also celebrated our anniversary as a group and it was a great celebration with dances, music, food, activities for the kids we had guests from Eugene and Portland OR.

2016- The teacher Eugenia Cano of the state of Guanajuato came to teach theater classes with the members of the group.

This year marks our history as we had struggled for many years to obtain our registration as a non-profit organization. With the help of Dr. Bryant Barnwell who helped us finalize the process we were finally able to obtain our status as a 501 (c) (3) organization.


In May the Mariachi the Fearful of Hood River City invited us to participate with them at the May 5 festival in Hermiston Oregon. It was a great experience for the dancers to get out of our area and share the stage with the mariachi.

 On June 18, 2017 the Oaxacan Cultural group of the city of Seattle Washington extended the invitation to participate in their Guelaguetza. We carry the dance of Diablos of Oaxaca representing the region of Collantes .... It is the first time that we went out of the state of Oregon and definitely a great experience for the dancers of the group since perhaps for many it was their first time to witness a celebration of Guelaguetza.

Phone    (971) 273-0599

Story of Ballet Folklorico