Thomas Valles, a member of the state champion McFarland High School cross country team featured in the 2015 Disney film McFarland, USA, has shared a message of perseverance, dedication and success to thousands of educators, students and business people across the nation.
Rojelio Leopoldo Viramontez
Raised in Southeastern New Mexico and West Texas, Rojélio Leopoldo Viramontez is one of the seven brothers and sisters to Leopoldo Diaz Viramontez and Eloisa Garcia Anguiano. The greatest inspiration in Rojelios life has been his mother, Eloisa: the greatest teacher, greatest disciplinarian, and the greatest motivator. In the early years of Rojelios growth, Eloisa saw that music and dance was going to help shape Rojelio. This meant making decisions that would bring about results and help Rojelio define his purpose as a motivator and inspirational dancer. The seed of his passion for dance was planted as early as high school years. Dance was not only his passion but the sheer escape from the realities he faced each day coming from a low income family living in the projects of Southeastern NM and West Texas.
In his third year at the University of New Mexico, Rojelio realized dance would become the driving force in his professional life. He opened his own dance studio after leaving the Fred Astaire International Dance Association. His passion towards dance, allowed him to perceive and feel dance as more than just movement. It was also a cultural, historical and powerful method to deliver a message for inspiration and motivation that can help change lives. After graduating with a degree in languages and a minor in international business from the University of New Mexico; Rojelio made a decision that had a big impact on the direction of his career, he relocated to California. Rojelio had a desire to find the synergy between dance and helping his community in the form of education through the power of dance, two elements in which he thrived.
Through his life experience, education, and dance career, Rojelio developed a unique music and dance program that expands from the social emotional to multicultural focuses in the areas of International Ballroom, Latin, Swing, Country Western, and Folk. This program has been successfully implemented in over 15 states with some of the largest school districts including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, San Antonio, and Miami to some of the smallest districts in America. His program has been presented within the migrant community at state and national conferences, parent conferences, teen conferences and in the form of summer camps through music and dance. Rojelio created Royal King and has been in business for over 20 years. He has traveled to six countries to teach dance to nearly half a million students in the last 20 years. He helped establish and create one thing without a doubt, “If you believe in yourself, If you have a strong work ethic, You can make your dream a reality!”
Rojelio believes deeply and passionately in motivating and inspiring his community through music and dance. In Rojelios words, “I am a motivator, I am a dancer”.