Preserving the steps of the Danza Mexica Splendor, we promote and present our culture with integrity, pride and respect through the Mexica (Azteca) dance and drumming. We study the ancient ways of ceremony and science while sharing and exchanging an introduction to our cultural classes and presentations by addressing the needs, concerns, and interests of our communities, dancers, artists, administrators, and organizations willing to share learn and support Indigenous teachings of the pre-Columbian Mexican culture.
Calmecac Tonantzin Yolilitzyotl (Houston Aztec Dance & Drum), was originally founded in 2014 by Rainflowa and her three children, who are from an 8th-generation Texan family & 4th generation family born and raised in Houston, Texas. Rainflowa and her eldest son began walking the red road of traditional NAC ceremony and temazcal (sweat lodges) with elders across Texas in 1998. They joined la Danza Azteca Esplendor in 2002 and have kept bring Indigenous Cultural teachers, elders, and ceremonies both public and private, helping to establish a consistent Native American (Indigenous) ceremonial -life ways presence for the past 25 years in Houston, Texas.
They created a Calmecac (school) Danza Mexica (Azteca) group focused on teaching youth as an open community Indigenous dance circle dedicated to the preservation of the Mexicayotl in Houston, Texas.
They continue to offer free classes in local area parks and recreation centers in partnership with the City of Houston HPARD. Calmecac Indigenous Organization has been on the Young Audience of Houston Roster as teaching artists since 2015. They created a curriculum developed for students implementing Mexican (Mexica) Indigenous dance and drum in-school residencies, after-school programs and cultural presentations for grades K-12. Calmecac instructors have taught thousands of youth inside of Harris County and have received recognition on their community outreach work with the youth since 2014.
The Calmecac's head teacher, Abuela M'api Rainflowa, is a multi-disciplinary artist who completed the Arts for Learning Lab pilot program to become a National Teaching Artist through the Young Audiences of Houston and University of Houston Katherine G. McGovern College of the Arts in 2021.
DOUBLE CLICK HERE to watch us on ABC's Localish Coverage of Indigenous Peoples Day Houston 2020 @ Buffalo Bayou Partnership-The Cistern
Calmecac Tonantzin Yolilitzyotl (Houston Aztec Dance & Drum Group) is an open community family-based group dedicated to learning and teaching Mexicayotl dancing, drumming, and culture. This dance circle is dedicated to preserve and share traditional Indigenous Mexica philosophy, history, customs, culture and arts to communities in Houston, Texas.
As a family of 4, Rainflowa and her three children, who began Calmecac Indigenous Organization, have been walking on the red road since 1998 and in la danza aka Esplendor Azteca,” “La Danza Mexica,” or “Mexicayotl since 2002. As a family, they have offered school residencies, public and private presentations, free classes, new moon women's drum/song ceremonies, Native American healing ceremonies traditionally called "Temazcal" aka as "sweat lodge" and other private ceremonies to teach the old ways of our ancestral people of Turtle Island.
"We are setting an example for the younger generations to understand their own individual strengths by understanding the struggle of our ancestors who make us the resilient people we are today."-Abuela M'api Rainflowa
Cultural Dance and Percussion presentation spaces since 2008 including public presentations in the following venues:
Lowrider Magazine 45th Anniversary Car Show @ Reliant Stadium, include: Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern, Houston Botanical Gardens at the ALMAAHH gala, Texas State Capitol, George R. Brown Convention Center (ACPA 2018 Conference), various HPARD public spaces, Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, Fine Arts Museum Houston, Discovery Green, Museum of Natural Science, Children's Museum, The Brazoria County Historical Museum, Miller Outdoor Theater, Toyota Center (outdoor stage), Rice University, University of Houston Central, UH Downtown, Houston Community College, Brazosport College, Lone Star College Campus, Sam Houston State University, Lee College, many K-12 schools through Houston Independent School District, Spring Branch ISD, Pearland ISD, Aldine ISD, Fort Bend ISD, KIPP Academies, Juvenile Youth Detention Centers and several Houston Parks and Recreation Centers in the city of Houston and surrounding areas.
Festival participation throughout Houston includes: Discovery Green's FUNomenal Spring Break, Rocket's Latin Fest, HUE Mural Fest, Willow Water Hole Music Fest, Creekfest, various annual Day of the Dead events, with Museo Guadalupe Aztlan annually since 2008 and at MECA in 2003, Springworld International Children's Fest & 1st annual East End Fest, plus member's participation in numerous other events & pow-wow's around the state of Texas since 2002.
"February 27, 2021 ROCO will explore the interplay of light and dark in “Shadows”, built around a commission by Alyssa Morris, Tlapalli Tlahuilli—inspired by an Aztec myth detailing how the world received its sound and color—featuring ROCO’s principal winds as soloists, preceded by narration of the book “Musicians of the Sun” by Gerald McDermott, by members of the Calmecac Indigenous Arts Organization."
Abuela Map'i Rainflowa was invited to be featured in Houston Grand Opera's event Religare Music Series One and can be seen in the video at the bottom of this webpage.
Media coverage includes: ABC national coverage Localish, Houston Chronicle, La Vibra Magazine and local KHOU Channel 11 News featured the annual Thanksgiving Outdoor Sunset remembrance of Ancestors ceremony in 2019.
We encourage the public to come and watch any of our events we list online to learn more.
The curriculum developed and content of member’s work have been expressed through outlets including classes, academic/community presentations. The members work, quotes and experiences have been expressed in academic thesis and dissertations in anthropology, native history, political science, cultural diversity, sociology and Chicanos in cultural resistance in the 21st century and in educational/artistic performance in cultural events.
Emphasizing the importance of family, honoring elders and children first, we give students a way to look at history, culture and identity of their own indigenous roots from around the world. We apply the concepts of self-control, discipline and respect to themselves and in turn, one another. This we present through the "circle concept" that all Native American ceremonies/dances are structured. Specifically, we are maintaining inter-generational traditions, singing Nahuatl songs, and studying Mexica Danza (dance) and pre-Hispanic drumming within ceremony as a path to healing ourselves and integrating it into our ways of life as the teachings apply to us today is our primary focus as a whole.
Upcoming Community Classes and Events
Free, All Ages, open to the public
Never ever pay for Indigenous ceremonies or teachings
(That is not the way our elders taught us)
Please consider donating to help us maintain the traditions
and keep them available and open to the community.
History of Calmecac
Calmecac Indigenous Organization was created in 2017 and is comprised of multi-disciplinary artists, traditional dancers, community members and families representing Houston's diverse Indigenous community.
The group’s founder also has a history of collaborating with other Texas-based Aztec dancers and dance groups whether participating in traditional ceremonies or inviting/connecting other dancers to different ceremonies and performances throughout the greater Houston area and around Texas, California, and Mexico since 2002.
For all booking inquiries, please leave is your request on our contact form below, we can create a unique presentation to fit your budget and needs or email us email@example.com or schedule here for a time to speak directly with Abuela M'api Rainflowa.