Grupo Raices Peruanas
Angela Melani Ascarza Acuña
Born in from Huancayo, Peru, Angela's mom is Huancaina and her dad is Ayacuchano. Because of this mix, Andean culture was very present in her life growing up. When she arrived to the U.S. she felt that something was missing because of the lack of Peruvian culture around her. Dancing with Raices Peruanas makes her feel close to her friends and family that she left in Peru. She says dancing fills her with joy and makes her miss Peru a little less while feeling also proud to represent her culture abroad.
Both of Brian's parents are from La Paz, Bolivia, he became interested in dancing when a Bolivian folkloric group based in Orange County invited him to watch them practice, allowing him to really immerse himself in his culture like never before. Through his performances with that dance group, his path crossed with Raices Peruanas and they were invited him to dance with them. Having learned from that his grandmother was from Peru, he decided to also explore those roots and has been loving it ever since.
From Alhambra, CA, Bianca is a multi-cultural dancer with a Peruvian father and Mexican mother. She has been dancing Mexican Folklorico for 16 years along with studying ballet. She continues to learn about her culture through dancing with Raices Peruanas. She says she loves dance because it allows her to express herself and her cultural identity without the use of words and through creative movement.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Fernando's dad immigrated from Iquitos, Peru and his mother from Lima, Peru. As a Peruvian-American, he has always had an interest and urge to dance to Peruvian music. He says the rhythm, the fun, and the excitement of dancing in a traditional Peruvian dance group really unites and ignites our individual passion for the arts.
Oscar De Leon
Born in Lima, Peru and raised in Northern California, Oscar started dancing Peruvian folkloric at the age of 6 and has found a deep joy and liberation in it ever since. He has been part of dozens of performances and several competitions over the years. After high school he spent 3 years as the interim Artistic Director of the Peruvian dance group, "Asociación Cultural Kanchis". Since moving to Los Angeles in 2007 he has been participating as a dancer and instructor with the local dance group, "Raices Peruanas", primarily in a volunteer capacity. Dancing, to him, is a liberating vital expression of the heart and soul.
He was born in Los Angeles, CA and raised in Miami, FL by Puerto Rican parents. He has had a passion for dance since he was 5 years old. He grew up dancing salsa, merengue, and bachata, to name of few dance styles, as a kid. As he continued to expand his art form, he decided to learn Peruvian Folklorico. He states that Raices Peruanas has been the foundation of his success in his career of traditional Peruvian dance. He is grateful for the new music, dance moves, rhythm, and culture he has learned with the group.
Born and raised in Chiclayo, Peru, Melba has been dancing since she was 4 years old in her hometown until 2008 when she moved to the US. Peruvian Folklore and dance in general is a big love of hers and very important in her life. She says she now has the fortune to continue crafting her passion, since joining Raices Peruanas in 2011 as a lead dancer.