By Anita Lee
Behind the Auditorio de la Ribera in La Floresta, there is a second building that most people do not know exists. This building houses a music rehearsal room on the ground floor with a dance studio above. The dance studio has become home to the School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance of the Auditorio de la Ribera. Adriana Fernandez, owner of El Granero, started a dance school here 12 Years ago, but, almost 4 years ago, she found she was just too busy in the store to continue teaching and asked her cousins to take over the school.
Adriana’s cousins are Hector Hernandez and Laura Fernandez who met and married while dancing together in the Houston Ballet. They had left the Houston Ballet to open a dance studio in Monterrey Mexico, eventually moving to Guadalajara where they taught their 11 children ballet on the patio of their home. Among those children is Isaac Hernandez, who is a principle dancer with the London Ballet and has become considered one of the top male dancers in the world. Last week his photo graced the cover of Forbes Mexico. His brother Esteban is a principle dancer with the San Francisco Ballet and the rest of the children are involved in dance, in some form or other, as well. Eventually the parents opened a school in Tlajomulco and then later in the center of Guadalajara. The Ajijic school is their third school.
We are extremely lucky to have this prestigious dance school in Ajijic. It is doing very well with 40 students, most from disadvantaged families, who normally would not have had access to such excellent instruction. Hector and Laura have found various sponsors to enable these dance students to attend classes. Maestra Yoko, formerly of the Holland Ballet comes 2 days a week to teach and Daniela Hernandez teaches on Saturdays. Local Canadian dancer Heather Hunter had been asked by La Ola supporters Joni and Carl Ribera to start a class with girls from the La Ola orphanage.