Jeanette Trujillo has always been a mover. She has always loved gymnastics, singing and the arts, but nothing more than dancing.
Trujillo began dancing at four years old and credits her mother for establishing a passion and love for dance in her. That passion and love for the art has taken Trujillo to a platform where she has influenced thousands of dancers and has helped preserve Mexican and Spanish dance through the Fiesta Colorado Dance Company — an organization Trujillo established in 1972 whose mission is to educate, support, preserve and showcases cultural traditions of Mexican and Spanish dance. The Fiesta Colorado Dance Company achieves its mission through educational programs and professional performances of traditional Mexican and Spanish dance.
“(Dance) just stayed with me. And then you start getting more involved in it and performing it and teaching it and there is a day when you ask yourself who cares, does it matter,” said Trujillo in an interview with La Voz. “Why does it matter? The answer was because I care about it. From that day forward, it changed my perspective about what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, and my connection to my art. I’m an educator and a dance performer. That is my mission, I don’t have another agenda on the side.”
Trujillo has another accolade to add to her already legendary career she has built as a dancer and teacher in Colorado — a lifetime achievement award from the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA). The lifetime achievement award through the CBCA is titled the John Madden, Jr. Leadership Award which recognizes a lifetime of extraordinary leadership and a legacy of support for the arts. Trujillo was awarded the John Madden, Jr. Leadership Award by an independent panel of statewide arts, business and community leaders.
To celebrate her award and others who have received awards this year through the CBCA, there will be a virtual luncheon on March 9 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The luncheon will include entertainment, videos for all 12 statewide award honorees and more. Registration for the event closes on March 4, and you can learn more at https//bit.ly/3uKC1sk.
“It’s an honor to be recognized, because that in itself is a relief. I’m happy to be here and continuing my work,” said Trujillo. Our culture should be celebrated, and we should be recognized.”
Trujillo is one of the most recognized Denver native dancers and has been awarded numerous awards for her career that has lasted more than 40 years. Among the awards she has received include the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and was also awarded as A Living Legend of Dance in Colorado by the University of Denver’s Carson-Brierly Dance Library.
Trujillo has choreographed numerous dance productions for traditional Mexican dance and mariachi celebrations, “West Side Story,” the Colorado Children’s Chorale and much more. The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, the Colorado Council for the Arts, the Denver Public Schools Community Resources, the Colorado Folk Arts Council, Young Audiences of Colorado and more, have endorsed her programs. She has worked with guitarists, dancers and orchestras like the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the National Repertory Orchestra and Mariachi Sol de Mi Tierra.
You can learn more about Trujillo and the Fiesta Colorado Dance Company at fiestacolorado.org.