Students from the Folklorico program at Aspen Santa Fe Ballet in performance.

(Courtesy Aspen Santa Fe Ballet)

A Carbondale man who uses dance to promote Latino cultural awareness and shape young leaders in the Roaring Fork Valley has received a statewide honor.

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Folklorico director Francisco "Paco" Nevarez-Burgueño.

(Courtesy Aspen Santa Fe Ballet)

Francisco Nevarez-Burgueño is one of three Coloradans who received this year's Governor's Creative Leadership Award during the Colorado Creative Industries Summit, a two-day conference organized by the state's cultural agency. 

Known to many as "Paco," Nevarez-Burgueño directs the Folklorico program at Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. Folklorico dance, which Nevarez-Burgueño learned as a child in his native Mexico, blends traditional folk dances with some ballet characteristics, such as pointed toes or heavily choreographed steps. He spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.