Danza Floricanto/USA, founded in 1975, is the oldest existing professional Mexican folk dance troupe in Southern California. From an Aztec ritual to the vibrant fiestas of today's Jalisco, from the Spanish-influenced tropics of Veracruz to the conflictive realities of the Chicano experience, Danza Floricanto/USA presents the bold, colorful panorama of its Mexican heritage as it interacts with its American reality. Danza Floricanto/USA, under the direction of Gema Sandoval, has recreated the movement, costume, and song of 17 different regions of Mexico, and over half a dozen works on the Chicano experience which celebrate cultural identity for the Mexican American community and the immigrant experience for the rest of America. This award-winning, 34 year old company, has been enthusiastically received on tour throughout California and the American Southwest. Its mission is to preserve the Mexican culture, validate it as a cultural expression of the Latino people in the American Southwest; to create awareness for it through the medium of music and dance; and to explore ways in which it can connect with mainstream American culture. Floricanto does this in several ways: By touring full concert presentations throughout the United States, conducting workshops, lecture demonstrations, educational assemblies and residencies, seeking partnerships with like organizations of other ethnicities and art forms and providing after school alternatives through Mexican folk dance for the youth in our immediate community.