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Spotlight Series: Dancing Through Life with San Diego Teaching Artists Roxanne Rojas de Blanco

Welcome to the latest entry in our Teaching Artist Spotlight Series, where we celebrate the heart and soul behind Bocón: our teaching artists. Today, we're thrilled to introduce you to Roxanne Rojas de Blanco, a beacon of movement, culture, and education. Roxanne's journey is not just about dance; it's a testament to the power of arts in bridging communities and cultures.

A Life in Motion

From the lively streets of Cadiz, Spain, to the rhythmic pulse of Cuba, Roxanne has always been surrounded by the vibrant tapestry of dance. Her story is a global odyssey, exploring the essence of cultural dances from Brazil to Peru, Colombia, and beyond. Dance, for Roxanne, is more than movement—it's a universal language, a source of healing, storytelling, and connection.

A Path to Bocón

Roxanne's introduction to Bocón was serendipitous, reuniting with Crystal Mercado, a former colleague and Bocón's visionary director. Inspired by Crystal's commitment to culturally relevant art, Roxanne was drawn to Bocón's mission, eager to contribute her passion and expertise as a Teaching Artist.

Philosophy in Motion

Roxanne approaches teaching with a philosophy that dance is a fundamental human expression, accessible to all. Her classrooms are laboratories of creativity, where students explore the elements of dance to express their own stories and connect with others. It's about building compassion and understanding through the shared language of movement.

Moments of Magic

Every day with Bocón brings new stories of inspiration and joy, but it's the moments of communal dance—students performing for their families, then teaching them the moves—that Roxanne cherishes most. These experiences underscore the transformative power of dance, bringing people together in celebration and understanding.

Overcoming Challenges

Teaching multicultural dance is a journey of constant learning and adaptation for Roxanne. Faced with the challenge of teaching dances outside her expertise, she dives into research, seeking authentic insights into the cultures she aims to represent. It's a commitment to integrity and respect that guides her work, ensuring each dance tells a true story.

Inspirations and Influences

Roxanne's artistic vision is shaped by a constellation of mentors and experiences. Kathryn Irei, an early influence, instilled in her a philosophy of dance as a quest for freedom and connection. This foundational belief has guided Roxanne's teaching, encouraging her to listen deeply to the dialogues of the body and the stories it can tell.

Embracing Diversity as a San Diego Teaching Artist

Roxanne's recent exploration of Mexican-American culture and ballet folklorico has deepened her connection to the communities she serves. This journey into the rich tapestry of Mexican dance forms is a reflection of her broader commitment to embracing and celebrating the diversity of San Diego through her art.

The Creative Process

Whether crafting original choreography or planning a new class as a San Diego Teaching Artist, Roxanne's process is collaborative and exploratory. She engages her students in a creative dialogue, where themes emerge and movements take shape, reflecting a collective vision that respects cultural traditions while fostering individual expression.

The Future of Art Education

Reflecting on her 30 years in arts education, Roxanne sees a future where holistic, community-based programs like A Step Beyond become the norm, providing comprehensive support for young artists. It's a vision of art education that nurtures not just talent but the whole person, fostering a lifelong connection to the arts.

Current Endeavors

Roxanne's passion for dance continues to lead her on new adventures, from Peruvian cultural dances with Tania Araoz to the challenging rhythms of flamenco with DanzArts. These projects are more than performances; they're opportunities to build community, forge friendships, and connect deeply with her cultural roots.

Join the Dance

Roxanne Rojas de Blanco's journey with Bocón is a vibrant reminder of the transformative power of dance. Through her, we're reminded that art can break barriers, heal wounds, and bring us closer to our shared humanity. We invite you to join us in this celebration of movement and culture, to experience the joy and unity that dance can bring into our lives.

Stay tuned for more stories from our Teaching Artist Spotlight Series, where we dive deep into the lives and work of the artists who make Bocón a beacon of creativity and community.

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