Teachers at the Old Town School

René Cardoza

René was born and raised in Mexico City where he earned a degree in physical education from UNAM and began his career in Mexican folk music and dance. He apprenticed his father, who is considered a master of Mexican folk music and dance, at a very early age, which prepared him to become a dancer for one of the best dance programs in high school. With this program he toured internationally.

After this touring experience, he auditioned for the world famous Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernandez. Being in this well-known dance company, he received training in the disciplines of jazz, ballet, and modern dance from faculty of the well-respected Compañía Nacional de Danza de Mexico (classical ballet), Ballet Nacional de Mexico, Ballet Teatro del Espacio and Antares modern dance company. His soloist career with Amalia Hernandez then landed him the coveted role of “El Venado” in the Dance of the Deer. He performed this famous dance for audiences around the world for 2 years in the company’s world tour seasons.

During his professional career, he became aware of and developed knowledge of his pre-hispanic heritage. Having lived this culture with Native Americans from Mexico and the U.S. he learned many ceremonial dances, rituals, and traditions, which he now shares with students in different dance studios, dance companies, grammar and high schools, and different communities. He continues to expand his knowledge of the Native American culture by learning from chiefs of different Native American Nations.

Having reached the top of his dance career in Mexico, he moved to Chicago where he began training with Randy Duncan, Harriet Ross, and Birute Barodicaite of the Joseph Holmes Dance Theatre, Homer Bryant of Bryant Ballet, and Elizabeth Boitsov of the Boitsov Classical Ballet.

He currently choreographs for different dance companies in the United States. He is also on staff at Urban Gateways, the Chicago Board of Education Department of World Language and Culture, and is contracted yearly by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs to conduct workshops and perform at the annual Chicago Summer Dance. Most recently he was awarded a Master Dancer Grant from the Illinois Arts Council in the discipline of Ethnic Folk Art for the 2004 Season. René has dedicated himself to the preservation of Mexican folk dance, music, and culture in the United States through his varied activities.

Education: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico - Mexico City

Started at the Old Town School in March of 1996

No classes found

The Old Town School of Folk Music, Inc.
4544 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago IL 60625  •  773.728.6000