Benjamin Hernández



Benjamin Hernandez


Benjamin C. "Benjas" Hernández was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. He is an elder of the Ballet Folklorico Movement in the United States. In 1967 he received his BA in Fine Arts from La Escuela de Artes Plásitcas in Guadalajara, where he was a lead dancer in the Escuela's Grupo Folklórico under the direction of Rafael Zamarripa.

Upon his l967 arrival in Los Angeles, Benjamin founded Mexicapan, one of the most revered performance ensembles of Mexican dance in California during the 1970s. He also founded and directed Eastlos Folklorico.

To further his research in Mexican dance he returned to Mexico on many occasions to study with such master teachers as Mario Cabrera in Veracruz, la familia Prospero in Michoacán, and Amalia Hernández of Mexico City.

He was one of the founders of Asociación Nacional de Grupos Folklóricos (ANGF) and chaired the Los Angeles conference in 1981. Continuing his education Los Angeles, he received a second BA in Latin American Studies from California State University in 1980, and an MA degree in Dance Research at UCLA in 1999.

Benjamin retired in 2010 after forty years of teaching at East Los Angeles College (ELAC) where he has enriched the ELAC community with his knowledge of ballet folklórico.