Rosarito Girls Win National Dance Competition

Written/Photographed by Juna Pablo Sebastian
Translated by Lissette Whitehead-Melendez

National championships are difficult to win. Great talents in every competitive field of endeavor never achieve that pinnacle of performance.So when two of our local residents were able to recently do so it was definitely a newsworthy accomplishment.. When they did so before becoming teenagers it was even a more remarkable achievement. We are not only proud to reprint this article by one of our area's top reporters but also honored to announce that our local population will be able to witness the rare talents possessed by these youngsters in October when they perform as part of our city's 8th Annual Rosarito Beach International Mariachi & Folklorico Festival.

"Mar de la Rosa Zamudio (just nine years old) and Natalia Gomez (age 12) were part of a local contingent under the direction of Professor Jose de la Toba that recently traveled to Playa del Carmen in the state of Quintana Roo for the 'UPA Competition' (A Step Forward). The duo, known as 'Emotion,' wowed both the aficionados and judges alike by winning the  'Latin Dance Duet ' competition. In addition, young Mar also competed in the individual category and earned second place.

To get to perform in the nationals, the girls first had to compete in and win both the municipal (Tijuana) and state (Baja California) competitions. The fact that their teacher's workshops are the only ones in our area that offer instruction in 'Latin Rhythms' (like salsa and merengue) gave them a significant competitive advantage.

Mar attends the fourth grade in the elementary school in Colonia Santa Lucia while Natalia has just completed her 6th grade course of study at Jesus Garcia Elementary and is preparing to enter Secondary School #32.
Because she attended to national competition, she missed the opportunity to take the admission exam that would have allowed her to attend her school during the morning shift. This is crucial for her since it would enable her to continue with her dance instruction which is scheduled in the afternoons.

Natalia's mother told us that "first we were told at the school that the admissions tests were going to be administered before the competition but with the teacher's strikes they postponed them until further notice. Unfortunately  for my daughter, they  rescheduled the tests when we were in Playa del Carmen and she was unable to take them. I have asked the School Board to allow her to retake the test which with the proper score would enable her to continue to attend school in the morning shift  and continue with her dream of becoming a professional dancer."

'Emotion' will be part of the 'Stars of Tomorrow" performances that will be an integral part of the  8th Annual multi-day benefit Festival for our local Boys and Girls Club which be held in the oceanfront gardens of the Rosarito Beach Hotel on Friday evening  October 6th. The 'Gran Concierto,' which concludes the event on Saturday evening October 7th, will feature Latin Grammy nominees Trio Ellas,  the National Champions Mariachi Estrellas de Chula Vista, the multiple Grammy Award winning Mariachi Divas and Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlan who will be headlining at the upcoming Hollywood Bowl's Mariachi USA event. For more information, click onto:  or contact Club President Rosy Torres at (661) 850-1773 or

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