Ayazamana is a not-for-profit dance organization registered in the State of New York. Our mission is to promote Ecuadorian culture and teach the new generations about our customs and traditions. We accomplish this by providing educational and entertaining performances throughout the New York tri-state area and neighboring cities and states. We also provide classes to young children to teach them the fundamentals of Ecuadorian dance and to give them a space where they can learn to appreciate the culture of our country of origin.
Ayazamana was founded in 1992 by Jose Rivera. Mr. Rivera was born in Quito, Ecuador and began to dance at the age of fifteen with Virginia Rosero, a well known Ecuadorian choreographer and dancer. Being a part of Ms. Rosero’s folkloric dance group allowed him to learn the fundamentals of Ecuadorian traditional dance and to perform on various stages throughout Ecuador and abroad.
Like many other hard working Ecuadorian immigrants seeking better opportunities, Mr. Rivera arrived in the United States in 1990 and settled in the City of New York. His love for Ecuadorian folk dance motivated him to seek and participate in several dance groups. In 1992, with the help of several close friends, he formed his own group with the name of Ayazamana.
In May of 2008 he teamed up with Justo Santos and Esau Chauca to revamp the group’s mission and structure, as well as to create a children’s dance group. They formally incorporated the group as a not-for-profit organization in April of 2009. On July 10, 2010 the group produced their first theater performance entitled “Ayazamana: Traditional Music and Dances from Ecuador” at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria, Queens. On July 24, 2010, Ayazamana won first place in the first International Folkloric Dance Festival organized in Newark, New Jersey.
One of our fundamental goals has been to allow the community to have greater access to our culture through our dances so they can appreciate the richness and diversity that exists in Ecuador. Over the years, the group has performed in various important venues such as: United Nations, Ecuadorian Consulate, Academy of the Holy Angels, Columbia University, Stony Brook University, Borough of Manhattan Community College, La Guardia Community College, Pan American High School, Renaissance Charter School, Brooklyn Music School, Queens Public Library, Corona Plaza, Museum of the American Indian, Museum of Natural History, Queens Museum of Art, New York Hall of Science, Queens Theater in the Park, Atlantic City’s Kennedy Plaza, Huntington Town Hall, and many other schools, churches and community institutions.
As the group continues to grow, the need for more volunteers and planning has led to the creation of a Logistics Committee, which is directed by the dancers and their families. We currently count with about 40 dancers; some as young as seven years old. We have also formed strategic alliances with other organizations such as the Ecuadorian International Center and the Ecuadorian International Alliance in order to generate the resources needed to continue to provide our services to the community.
Join Our Dance Group
The Ayazamana Dance Group, another project of the Ayazamana Cultural Center, is looking for new dancers. The requirements are be 15 years of age or older, pass an audition, and be available for rehearsals and performances that usually occur during the weekends. No experience is necessary, but you must be willing to learn.
Únete a Nuestro Grupo
El Grupo de Danza Ayazamana, otro proyecto apoyado por el Centro Cultural Ayazamana, está buscando nuevos integrantes. Los requisitos son tener más de 15 años de edad, pasar por un proceso de audición, y tener disponibilidad para ensayos y presentaciones que usualmente son los fines de semana. No es necesario tener experiencia, pero si ganas de aprender.