Green Room Theatre Company is focusing its future on the East Coachella Valley

Green Room Theatre and Lyndon B.  Johnson Elementary school will present their first Winter Folklorico Dance Concert at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13th at Lyndon B. Johnson Elementary School, 44640 Clinton Street in Indio.

In addition to a colorful ballet Folklorico recital by students, the evening features professional performances by Marisol Reyes and Ballet Alma Folklorica Metztli, plus Heatwave’s junior affiliate, the Musical Educational Services (MES) Band.

Green Room dance instructors Yuri Sanchez and Karen Lin of Ballet Alma Folklorica Metztli have worked weekly with their team of LBJ Longhorn girls for the last three months.  According to instructor and Green Room President Karen Lin, after emerging from two years of limited social interaction during the COVID pandemic “These little girls were painfully shy at first, but soon were mastering dances and experiencing an inclusive, team-building dance environment.”  Instructor Yuri Sanchez notes that for most of the girls, this will be their first time performing in public.

“I think it’s great for children to get enriched by our common cultural heritage,” says Lin, who is Chinese American, “and it’s also important for people to know that ballet folklorico dance is open to anyone. We have a multi-ethnic group; we make sure students respect each other, and we are proud to see the girls rebuilding their self-esteem and supporting one another when the dancing gets tough.

Sanchez adds, “It is such an honor to teach my Mexican culture and dance form, ballet Folklorico.  I particularly enjoy seeing how our young dancers improve each week through their hard work and perseverance.   As a Folklorico teacher, I personally feel a great desire to inspire younger generations to build self-confidence and teamwork skills through dance.”

Green Room Theatre Company also offers theatre education and is focusing its future on the East Coachella Valley. Green Room has received three California Arts Council grants this year to provide East Coachella Valley with a professional touring production of Gary Soto’s romantic farce, Novio Boy. One CAC grant will enable Green Room to provide a series of workshops for teachers, parents, and students at six East Coachella Valley secondary schools.  Auditions for student actors and adults will be held in January. Green Room is also available for theatre training to interested schools.

Green Room’s after-school theatre and ballet Folklorico classes are made possible by the district’s Expanded Learning Opportunities Program (ELOP).  When Artistic Director David Catanzarite was invited to propose courses to ELOP, he promptly registered Green Room Theatre.  Longhorn Principal Brad Fisher was the first elementary principal to jump on the opportunity.  LBJ’s new ELOP Coordinator, Niccol Demke, has worked closely with parents, instructors and new ELOP Director Kirsten Knapp to pave the way for Green Room and numerous other after school programs, including the MES Band.  According to Catanzarite, audiences will be stunned by the final performance.

For more information about the performances contact LBJ Elementary School at (760) 863-3680.  For more information about Green Room Theatre, contact Kennan Vorwaller at or visit

Image Sources

  • Folklorico Dance: DSUSD