Door County Folk Festival
Rubén Pachas began to learn the dances of his ancestral Peruvian cultures at a very young age in art education classes at his school in Peru, and continued to learn and practice them into adolescence. He later joined the Matices Peruanos Folkloric Cultural Institution, directed by Laly Varillas and Jesus LaMadrid, where he began to research dance and to perform as a dancer on stage.
Having carried out in-depth research on the ancient cultures of Peru, Rubén graduated with a degree in Art Education from the National Higher School of Folklore Jose Maria Arguedas. After winning national dance competitions with students' work, participating as a teacher in teacher training courses in folk dance, and making two tours to the United States as a cultural artist representing Peru, in 2005 Rubén arrived in Chicago, Illinois. Here he has had the opportunity to work as a guest teacher for 8 years in the América Baila program directed by Maestro Polo Garcia, an expert in Mexican dance.
In 2009 Pachas created the Peruvian Folk Dance Center, an institution dedicated to the promotion of the folkloric dances of Peru. In 2010 he developed Latin American Folk Dances, a program that he brought to Oak Park's School District 97, Crystal Lake's Bellwood District 88, and to Chicago Public Schools. He has also taught at the University of Chicago in the Music Department, at Roosevelt University as a Cultural Dance Teacher, at the University of Illinois-Chicago as a Cultural Dance Teacher and at Northeastern University.
In 2020 Pachas was awarded an MFA in Art Education by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, having conducted a study of and written his thesis on the teaching of Peruvian indigenous dances to non-indigenous people as a way of recovering ancestral values and culture. Currently he is working on the project "For ALL teachers in ARTCORE and ARTEC schools," which trains teachers from Chicago and Waukegan in ancient dances of the world.