Ventura High School’s Cesar Morales of Los Elegidos de Asis

Kinda Mehael

Cesar Morales’s journey through dance

Cesar Morales ’24 wearing traditional Oaxacan clothing in a Dia De Los Muertos dance event. Photo from: @bobdebris on Instagram

Born in an Oaxacan household, Cesar Morales ‘24 has been familiar with “La Danza De Los Diablos” or “The Dance of the Devils” ever since he was a child. “My parents are from Oaxaca, [Mexico] and I would watch [the dance] since I was a little kid and I just got interested in it and started dancing,” said Morales. “The Dance of the Devils” is a traditional dance from the town of San Miguel Cuevas, located in the Mixteca region of Oaxaca, Mexico. According to author Lujan Agusti, who studies Mexican masked dances, the Dance of the Devil was first created when the Spaniards brought Africans with them as slaves and persisted as a form of resistance. “During the days of freedom granted to them by their planters, the slaves went out to celebrate and dance,” wrote Agusti.

Cesar Morales ’24 said, “My family originated from [Oaxaca]. They started dancing and I [also] got into it.” Photo by: Kinda Mehael
Although Morales has been dancing “La Danza De Los Diables” since he was a child, he has been dancing with Los Elegidos de Asis for the last six months. Los Elegidos de Asis, or “The Chosen Ones of Asis,” is a cultural dance group located in Ventura County, consisting of over 50 members. Although Morales has been in the group for only six months, Los Elegidos de Asis has been performing since 2015.

Los Elegidos de Asis perform in all types of events, such as weddings and quinces. “We usually dance at parties that we get invited to, like quinceaneras, weddings, stuff like that,” said Morales. On top of that, Los Elegidos de Asis have earned a lot of recognition. On the days of April 14 to 16, Los Elegidos de Asis performed at the Universe Multicultural Film Festival, a red carpet event held in Los Angeles, where they won Signature Culture of the Year. “Last week we performed at a red carpet ceremony, there were many celebrities there, and we got the award for being the best culture of the year,” said Morales. 

The group Los Elegidos de Asis at the Universe Multicultural Film Festival, where they won the Signature Culture of the Year award. Photo by: Cesar Morales

VHS English teacher Paul Togneri said, “[Morales] is super friendly, amicable, and has a great sense of humor.” For fun, Morales likes to hang out with his friends, hang out in his bed and play with his dogs. Morales’ favorite classes at VHS include Metal Shop and Margaret Sellers’s English class. He likes to go to the mall for fun. Morales said, “Ms. Sellers’s class is really motivating for me. That’s why I like it.”