We had the good fortune of connecting with Brenda Flores and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brenda, how do you think about risk?
Every time I decided to risk huge parts of my life, my routine, or what I was comfortable doing, I ended up living out some of the best experiences in my life. From career changes, to living across the country, then out of the country multiple times, and even living out a childhood dream. I don’t only consider myself a risk taker but believe that in order to achieve what you want you have to not think so much and take risks.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I started dancing Mexican Folklore at the age of 8. It was my first love and passion. It then became my therapy and my form of expression and many years later also became my profession. I never thought that I would be dancing professionally doing what I love most. It was not an easy path but it was most definitely worth every moment. As a little girl, I dreamed of dancing with the world renown Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez. I never thought that I would ever actually be a member of the company. In 2015, I auditioned for the company and when I was told I had made the first audition, I quit my job, and left my New York life because I knew that I would not be coming back. I was determined to be part of the company and just as I sought to make it, I lived in Mexico City for 4 years as a dancer with the first company of the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
At the time I live in New York City. But I’m going to take myself back to Mexico City for this only because I truly love everything that Mexico City has to offer. It is such a beautiful city and I am truly in love with the atmosphere and the vibe there. One of my goals is to be able to live there at least 3 months out of the year in the near future.
Me and my friends are very active so first I would start the day with a nice run through the Castillo de Chapultepec. Then we’d go to have breakfast at one of my favorite healthy breakfast spots, Ojo de Agua. After getting washed up, we would walk through the neighborhood of la Condesa. Theres a lot of nice shops, cute vendors and little markets.
For lunch we would go to another of my favorite spots Cafe De Tacuba, which is located in el Zocalo. We would walk around that area to see the beautiful Palacio de Bellas Artes, which is the theater where I had the honor of having residency as a dancer with the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico. Which aside from being a theater, it is also a museum. There is a lot to see and explore in that area. The Zocalo, Palacio Nacional, La Ciudadela.
Then we would go home to freshen up and change to go out for dinner at Pujol followed by some amazing mezcal cocktails at La Clandestina.
There is so much to do and see in Mexico City. So we would go to Coyoacan, La Casa De Frida, Las Trajineras de Xochimilco, Las piramides de Teotihuacan, Los Dinamos, Tepoztlan. The list is endless.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am blessed with an amazing support system. For starters, my parents have been extremely supportive in all the things I do. I couldn’t be luckier to have them. I am who I am because of my parents, my 3 brothers (Oscar, Adan and Manny) and the chosen family I have the honor of having through the years. Special shout out to my soul sisters that have been there for me and have helped me rise, Tiffany Cayetano, Sophia Lopez-Weitz, Sylvia Vasquez and Bertha Nerjes. And my brothers by choice, Eduardo Fragoso and Chris Cortez.
I have come across amazing teachers, mentors and role models in my life. I believe a good mentor can completely change your life. Aside from the amazing people mentioned above, the following people really did that for me. They may not even know the impact they made in my life.
My very first mentor, Richard Champine, was my fifth grade teacher and the first teacher that really made an effort to connect with me and all of his students. He taught me how to fight through life obstacles at a very young age. He was an extremely dedicated teacher that would make the best effort to listen to us and understand his students on a very human level.
At a very young age I fell in love with Mexican Folklore but my passion for dance really grew thanks to Nicole Robinson. She was my dance teacher in high school and the person that introduced me to other genres of dance beyond only Mexican Folklore which at the time, was the only form of dance I knew. She broadened my knowledge in dance and taught me how to use dance as a form of expression. Primarily at a very hard moment in my life. She inspired me in ways she may have never imagined.
And last but not least, Ramon Silva. An amazing folklore dancer, teacher and friend. As the director of dance company Tonatiuh Danzantes de Quinto Sol, I was privileged to learn from him, dance with him and connect with him as he shares his love and passion for folklore and his culture with his students in a very personal way. The world needs more self-less people like him.
Emilio Garcia and Miguel Angel Fernandez de la Riva