erick modesto (dancer)
Born and raised in Queens, NY, Erick Modesto began dancing folklorico at age 7, when his parents registered him with a new folklorico group. The group had no name at the time, but was directed by Damaso, Edolay, and Jose Vargas. In 2003 the group became Ballet Telpochtli, and in 2006 they created a more elite group, which became the non-profit Ballet Folklorico Nueva Juventud. When Erick was 18, the Vargas brothers left Nueva Juventud and handed the company to Erick, who became maestro and director of BFNJ. Erick continues to hold the position alongside Yesenia Martinez and Kenya Vidals. Nueva Juventud performs in various Mexican festivities; it has showcased its work at churches, parades, private events, and at Queens Museum when they hosted their Aztec/Mayan exhibition. They hold workshops for children and have performed for the LGBTQ community.