In the 1980s, while working at Westwood Middle School, Josie Guillen often helped students with their homework after school and, when they were finished, she taught them Mexican folkloric dance. This marked the beginning of Grupo Tarasco, the resident dance company of the Cook Arts Center.
In establishing this dance company, Josie’s goals were to convey the importance of an education to young Latinas and Latinos, while keeping them off the streets and instilling in them a spirit of confidence and self esteem. Participation was and continues to be contingent on a youngster staying in school, doing the best they can in their studies, and staying out of trouble. Josie also wanted to do something that would help students maintain their Mexican cultural ties. About half of the members of the current troupe are of Mexican descent.
All individuals interested in booking Grupo Tarasco for future performances must schedule a performance through the Cook Arts Center. The cost for having Grupo Tarasco perform is $275, which includes 30-45 minutes of dancing. (Reduced rates for 501 c3 non-profit organizations are negotiable upon request.) Dancers for all performances will be selected by our group's instructor, Adrienne Menchaca Meyer.
Grupo Tarasco gives more than fifty performances a year throughout West Michigan and can be the featured entertainment at your next gathering or event! To book the group or receive more information, please call (616) 742-0692