Helen Figueroa leads the Puerto Rican folk dance group Batey. They perform a variety of dance styles including danza, seis chorreao, seis marianda, bomba and plena. Helen and other group members sew the dresses they wear and then send them to a professional seamstress to sew additional copies in different sizes. The dresses worn by Batey are modeled on those of a famous Puerto Rican dance group called Areto.
The group, comprised mostly of high school students, performs during Hispanic festivals at locations including Valencia Community College, Epcot and Cypress Gardens. In addition to leading this group Helen is an ESOL (English as a Second Language) teacher at Riverdale Elementary in Orlando and serves on the Cultural Committee of the Asociacion Borinquena (a Puerto Rican cultural group).
Learn more about Latin-American traditions in Central Florida:
Learn more about folk music and dance traditions in Central Florida: