Gabriela ‘Gabby’ Armenta is the co- founder of Danza Azteca Citlaltonac a traditional Mexica group founded in the Coachella Valley in 2007 & Talking Circle Citlaltonac. The legacy and spirit of this group’s origin comes with the belief of Musica, Canto, y Danza...mantiene el cuerpo y el espíritu en armonía as a way of LIFE. / Music, Song, and Dance keeps the body and spirit in harmony as a way of LIFE. A long time resident in the Coachella Valley, growing up in Mexican cultural household and a dedicated community builder has inspired work in the music and arts, religious roots, and community empowerment throughout the Coachella Valley. Gaby’s family history and connection to her roots inspires her to continue doing this work and empowering others to participate in healing practices and community resilience through dance and traditional community talking circles. Gaby’s wisdom, patience, and dedication to her community inspires others to see the beauty of our culture, traditions of our ancestors, and instil the importance of activism and social justice to all generations.
Co-Founder & Instructor
Claudia Armenta is a co-founder of Danza Azteca and Talking Circle Citlaltonac along with her sister Gabby Armenta. Claudia’s commitment to her community and her cultural traditions stems from empowering community members to be a part of something deeper that holds traditional and ancestral meaning. This understanding comes directly from the acts of resistance through dance, music, art, and the passing down of knowledge to younger generations. Claudia’s empowerment is embodied in her dedication to this group and its unique development of cultural practices along with evolving identity of indigeneity and her Mexican descent. In the community, Claudia is a strong community leader and dancer that has been directly involved in regional and local politics, building relationships with various community and social organizations, and holds strong ties with the regional and local religious groups.
Aztec Circle Citlaltonac
El Circulo / The Circle
Aztec Dance and Talking Circle Citlaltonac is an initiative that promotes Mexican heritage, rooted in Aztec ceremonial traditions. The group is open to anyone interested in learning the native traditions and practices of the Anahuac people of Mexico, including natural medicine. Through dancing and talking circles, traditions that have been passed down through generations, this initiative provides a safe healing space where the participants are able to find their sense of belonging, balance their daily lives, and connect with others. For the past several years, each gathering has become more than just a tool to bring their community together. It is about learning a new language, the poetry behind the songs, the medicinal properties and the use in everyday herbs, the structure, and discipline of being a part of a circle.
Established in 2007 in Coachella Valley, and with it's roots starting in Salamanca Guanajuato Mexico back in 1942, Citlaltonac has expanded its reach to local and out of town communities participating in a variety of venues such as museums, organizations, city hosted events, and inner tribal ceremonies in the areas of Coachella Valley, Banning, San Bernardino, Riverside, Baldwin Park, Los Angeles, Orange County, Yuma, and Phoenix Az