Combine a hunger to dance with a vision to create and the confidence to lead—this is Steven Valencia. He is a young veteran of ballet folklórico in northern California and made his national reputation as the Artistic Director for the Instituto Mazatlan Bellas Artes de Sacramento from 1998-2012. Whether it is his relationship with his dancers or his creative partnerships with cultural fundraisers, his leadership has always been noticed.
In early 2013, Steven Valencia founded his own company, CALDANZA Dance Company. This new professional dance company will unveil his newly created works--grounded in tradition but with contemporary movement and subject matte. “Calidad”--quality--is part of what will make Valencia’s Caldanza unique.
Valencia’s cumulative efforts and dedication to cultural affirmation through folklórico led to being honored in 2011 as one of ten Californians to receive The 2011 Maestro Award from The Latino Arts Network of California. The Latino Arts Network (LAN) partnered with the California Arts Council to "identify and honor individuals who are masters of cultural practice who have demonstrated a commitment to community-based work and who have distinguished themselves as Masters in their field."
Valencia started dancing at an early age in the late 1980s in one of Sacramento's in-school arts programs and continued through college. Through his own training and search, he has always passed it forward:
- He danced with Los Lupenos de San Jose and taught in their school as well as in after school programs with the Alameda School District and Alameda Juvenile Hall.
- Trained at San Jose State’s Jose Limon program and took classes with Robert Palmer dance in San Jose.
- Studied with Rafael Zamarrippa at the Universidad de Colima, 1st and 2nd company.
- Minored in dance at California State University, Sacramento
- Studied classical ballet since 2003
- Taught at CK McClatchy High School (Folklorico program)
- Taught in Danzantes Unidos (Statewide network) since 2003
Valencia has been honored to have done intensive workshops with:
- Maestro. Miguel Velez Arceo (Universidad Veracruzana 2001/2003)
- Maestro. Carlos Gonzalez (Universidad de Colima 2002/2004)
- Maestro. Zenon Barron (Ensambles San Francisco 2004-2005)
- ANGF (National network) 2001/2003/2005
- Maestro. Carlos Antunes (Ballet Folklórico de México 2009/2010/2012)
- Maestro. Antonio Rubio (Ballet Folklórico de la Universidad de Chihuahua 2010)
His creativity has been borne out in new works that combine tradition and modern movement. He has created three professional productions
“Corazon de Mexico” professionally presented at:
UC Davis Mondavi Center/Davis, CA;
Sacramento Community Center Theater/Sacramento, CA;
Gallo Center for Arts/Modesto, CA,
World Theater/CSU- Monterey Bay CA,
Three Stages PAC/Folsom, CA,
Arts and Lecture Series/Santa Barbara, CA,
Benvenuti Performing Arts Center/Sacramento, CA.
“Mosaico” presented at
Burbank Theater/Sacramento, CA; and
“Posada Navidena” professionally presented
Wells Fargo Center for Arts/Santa Rosa, CA,
Warner Theater/Fresno, CA,
Laxson Auditorium/Chico, CA,
Three Stages PAC/Folsom, CA,
Lincoln Theater/Yountville, CA,
Gallo Center for Arts/Modesto, CA).
The company has been honored for those works with 1st place awards in the La Gran Competencia (Dallas TX 2006, Esencia de Mexico 2006, Los Angeles)
He has also led the Company to participate in San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010) and proudly represented America when they toured China in 2006.
Through all of his dedication to dance, Valencia has been a Correctional Officer with California Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation since 2004.His belief in cultural affirmation and character development through dance has affected at-risk youth in many positive ways.
Now, with this massive depth of experience in the three most critical aspects of leading --as a creative force, a successful non- profit cultural fundraiser and an arts administrator--it virtually assures that his new creation ,CALDANZA, his own professional company, will make it’s mark in 2013 and beyond.