Lilly Corona Moreno

Lilly Corona Moreno is a Mexican dance company director in Cleveland’s West Side. She is part of a family of three generations of dancers and has over 30 years of experience in dance, choreography and making traditional costumes. She currently directs the Ballet Folklórico Tepehuani Nelli.

Lilly was born in the Cleveland area and raised in a tradition of Mexican dance by her parents, Jorge and Amalia. Jorge and Amalia immigrated from Mexico in the 1960s. They met and married in Cleveland and formed a large family with eight children (5 boys and 3 girls). Amalia taught Jorge to dance, and together, they established Grupo Cultural Azteca in the mid 1970s.

Lilly began to dance in the company at age 11. By the late 1980s, she pursued additional training and attended specialized master workshops in Toledo,  Guadalajara, Mexico and other places. Recognizing her improved skills and dedication, in 1999 Amalia passed the torch on to Lilly, and Lilly became the company’s artistic director.

Corona changed the company’s name to Ballet Folklórico Tepehuani Nelli (’True Conqueror’ in the Nahuatl language) to mark a new beginning for the company with higher technical and artistic standards. The company blossomed through the mid-2000’s, and by the end of the decade, it cycled through a new generation of young dancers. It now includes Corona’s own two children Cruz and Citlali. They may one day take over the company as their mother once did. The company currently rehearses at “La Sagrada Familia” (Sacred Family Church) in Cleveland’s West Side. It is a true family enterprise, her mother Amalia continues to advice the company, and her husband Alejandro Moreno helps with logistics.

By day, Lilly Corona is a High School Spanish teacher, a career she greatly enjoys. A tireless promoter of Mexican music, she is also the popular radio host of the program “La Preferida” since 1992. The show airs on Thursdays 7pm-9pm on WCSB 89.3 FM in Clevelend.

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