Artistic Director & Choreographer
A native of San Diego, Daniel began his relationship with dance when he joined his high school's Ballet Folklorico group out of a need to connect with his cultural roots. He would branch out and learn other forms of dance at Southwestern College (SWC), where he demonstrated an innate ability for ballet and modern dance, as well as for choreographing. He furthered his training at the University of California, San Diego, where he obtained his BA in Dance. Daniel would discover his passion for teaching at the Chula Vista Ballet Conservatory under the direction of Paz Soriano, where he would become assistant rehearsal director and, as resident choreographer, added numerous new works into their repertoire. He would return to SWC in 2009, first as artist in residence with DFD to present his evening-length concert Dos movimientos de Mexico, and later as guest choreographer for their faculty dance concerts. Daniel sites his personal struggle with cultural identity, which was magnified by being raised on both sides of the US/Mexican border, as the catalyst that originally propelled him to create DFD, and with them, develop new critical work. Most of his work responds to personal experiences and the human condition, from alcoholism and assimilation, to human suffering and transcendence.
Since relocating to NYC in early 2011, Daniel has met many talented artists that have inspired him to reshape DFD and create new, collaborative work. By the summer of 2014, after a 17 years away, he once again reconnected to his cultural roots by submerging himself in Mexican folk dance, performing with Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Nueva York, Calpulli Mexican Dance Company, and with Mazarte Dance Company. In addition, from 2015-2017, Daniel also served as assistant director of Xochipilli Dance Ensemble.