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It's not rocket science! Or is it?

As we continue our road trip across LA County, our blogger Brian got a chance to visit Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company's headquarters in South LA. With their Ford on the Road show Un Gran Atardecer coming up on June 13, the company's been busy creating the elaborate costumes that have become their trademark. 
I show up at the address I’ve been given for Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company and I’m a bit confused: it appears to be a residential house. Surely I’ve got the wrong address, I think, and I call my contact. But when she emerges, we head straight into the house.
As we walk in, I am astonished by what I see: the entire space has been overtaken, front room to basement, with brightly colored costumes. There are even costumes hanging from the ceiling in bags, like cocoons that could hatch at any moment. And apparently this isn’t it – there’s a warehouse too. 
Each garment is stitched lovingly by hand, with fabric from Downtown LA and labor from a network of mothers-turned-master-seamstresses from Grandeza’s training wing, the Grandeza Mexicana Dance Academy (GMDA). I’m told that these costumes can cost upward of $10,000 for each region, and that a Grandeza show can have up to 10 dances, each from a different region. Many of these mothers, like Wardrobe Mistress Rocio Arambula, stay on as volunteers, sewing long after their children have graduated. Five years after her daughter’s graduation, Rocio still manages the hundreds of costumes used in every show. The venue of the residential house, it turns out, is no mistake. This is a company with a grassroots, family spirit.
But in the case of Grandeza, this spirit is also matched by perfectionism. Benny Vasquez, who personally designs and oversees construction on each costume, is moonlighting from his job as an aerospace engineer and it shows. Each costume is constructed with the meticulous care of a spacecraft being prepped for orbit. Read more! 



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