Los Niños de Santa Fe (LNSF) is a local program dedicated to preserving traditional dances of Mexico. Students ranging from ages three to adult learn the fundamental techniques of traditional and modern movements, footwork and the history of other ethnic influences that has defined folkloric dance of Mexico. LNSF seeks to instill educational life skills to each participant through positive role modeling, emphasizing respect, responsibility, and discipline to the student.
Our programs include ages 3 to adult and vary from beginner to adult levels. Private lessons are available.
Colorful and vibrant presentations of music and dance are performed throughout the year bringing styles ranging from the foot-stomping Jarabe Tapatio to the slow, graceful Danzón style of the Gulf Coast, and the polka-influenced dances of northern Mexico.
Performing at local festivities and through the disciplines of dance, students promote positive role models, bringing forth appreciation, respect, responsibility and tolerance for our rich community.
Antonina Valdez Romp, Director and President of Los Ninos de Santa Fe Y Compania, is native of Santa Fe and has a bachelor’s degree in Education from Benedictine College. She has been a Home School educator for elementary and high school instruction for over 14 years; and is actively involved with the community in Santa Fe. She has coaching experience in swimming, running and volleyball. Antonina started dancing folkloric since at the age of six and has performed in several professional venues at The Lensic, James A. Little, Denver Stadium, Moving People Dance, Folk Art Museum and other local school theaters. She has been the Artistic Director of LNSF since 2005. She received professional training in Mexican dance in Las Cruces, NM with Rafael Zamarripa, Tucson, AZ with La Universidad de Colima Ballet, Mexico City with Carlos Antunez of renown Ballet Folkorico de Amalia Hernandez, and Guadalajara, Mexico with La Universidad de Guadalajara and La Universidad de Autonoma Guadalajara.
Lysa Schutz serves as Vice president and Secretary for Los Ninos de Santa Fe. She graduated in 1989 from Capital High School in Santa Fe, Nm and continued her education at the Santa Fe Community College until she became a mother in 1995. Over the years she has served in many volunteer positions. She is the current PTA president at EJ Martinez Elementary and have held numerous seats as an officer for the last 3 years. She has coached cheerleading for 5 years at EJ Martinez and has coached soccer with AYSO for many years. She has been dancing with Los Ninos de Santa Fe for the last 5 years and believe whole heartedly in this program.
Melissa Maestas serves as Treasurer for Los Ninos de Santa Fe. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from New Mexico Sate University. She has over 14 years of experience of administrative managing, consultant and business owner. She has expertise in areas ranging from business administration, marketing, financial, budgetary management in professional working environments in both profit and non-profit areas. She enjoys working with the youth in the community. She has been on the board of Los Ninos de Santa Fe since conception of the reorganization. This is an important part of our culture, and she feels giving the experience and knowledge to our youth is very important.
Xochitl Ehrl holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from El Instituto Cultural de Guadalajara, Mexico. Xóchitl came to the U.S. in 1984 and moved from California to New Mexico in 1993. Currently a Librarian at Santa Fe Prep School, she has over 8 years of experience working with youth in academic settings and outreach development, and is a member of the Faculty Multiculturalism Club and the Teen Action Program. She is part of the ESL volunteer literacy program of SFCC and currently a member of the Maria Benitez Adult Flamenco, New Mexico Dance Coalition, Zumba Instructor Network, and LNSF & Outreach Program QUETZAL. She is the Co-founder of Leyendas, a group of musicians from diverse Hispanic origin that studies popular legends through music and dance. She has over 10 years of experience in the hotel industry and contributed to the launching of Mundo 2000, an interactive educational radio programing for Latino audience produced by Hispanic Radio Network in 1997. She also spent seven years in state government working for the Director of Public Health. Areas of excellence are volunteerism, English & Spanish tutoring, and promotions of the arts.
Stephanie Sena de Mascarena, coordinator of Run for Los Ninos annual fundraiser and former adult dancer, is a native of Santa Fe. She earned her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Special Education and Bilingual Education from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM and administrative license from New Mexico Highlands University. The art and beauty of Balet Folklorico captured her attention while living in Las Cruces, NM and studying in Oaxaca, Mexico and eventually took up formal lessons with Los Ninos de Santa Fe y Compania dance group as an adult in 2002 through 2013. Stephanie has continued to serve the group as coordinator of Run for Los Ninos alongside the director while still fulfilling responsibilities as a school administrator and serving clientele under her financial services business. Her primary goal is to make Run for Los Ninos a recognized Santa Fe annual event for locals and tourists alike.