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About Tierra Viva


Our history

Welcome to the Traditional Colombian Folk Dance Group! Founded in February 2018, our group is a passionate project with the primary goal of bringing the richness of Colombian folk dance to the community. We take pride in providing a space where everyone can actively participate in this unique cultural expression, allowing us to delve into the depths of Colombia's cultural roots and share our rich heritage internationally through dance and music.

We are based in Auckland and have had the privilege of being a part of various cultural festivals in the city, such as the Auckland International Festival in April and Taiwanese Festival Day, as well as events outside the city, like the Spring Festival in Hamilton in September.

Currently, our group consists of approximately 16 members from various South American countries, including Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, and Chile, enriching our experience and allowing us to explore a diverse range of cultural influences.

Our passion leads us on a journey through Colombia, interpreting some of the country's most representative rhythms. Most of these rhythms result from the rich cultural blend of indigenous, Afro-descendant, and Spanish influences, making each performance a celebration of Colombia's diversity and history.

We invite you to join us in our rehearsals, which take place every Monday from 7 to 9 pm at Massey Community Hub, located at 385 Don Buck Road, Massey. Additionally, depending on our commitments, we often schedule additional rehearsals during the week. No prior experience is required, only the desire to learn and genuine commitment. If you share our passion for dance and culture, we welcome you with open arms!

Diana Prieto

Founder Tierra Viva


She was born in the city of Bogotá (Colombia). Diana is a woman with a passion for dance, art that she has been exploring since a young age.

Her beginnings in traditional dance were in the National Folk-Dance Company “Herencia Viva” directed by Monica Mercado in 2001. Thanks to this company Diana had the opportunity to represent Colombian folklore on national and international stages.
She later joined the Folkloric Ballet “Tierra Colombiana” directed by Fernando Urbina. Here she learned and explored the traditional Colombian folklore and international folklore, like Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Puerto Rico, and others.

Diana has studied classical ballet, jazz, African dance, tango, salsa, tap, among other dance rhythms, in Colombia and abroad.

Thanks to the dedication and teachings of her teachers, Diana cultivated her love and discipline for dance. Her distance from Colombia and the desire to continue dancing made Diana, after much work and planning, found in 2018 the Colombian folk dance group “Tierra Viva” in the city of Auckland (New Zealand). Since this year, the group has represented Colombian culture in different events in New Zealand. It has created a space where the community, in general, can actively participate in Colombian culture. Diana has also had the opportunity to direct the folk-dance group for kids, "Quetzal" which represents Mexican folklore in Auckland.

Diana is an ambassador of Latin American culture abroad, so she belongs to different organizations that promote diversity and inclusion in Auckland and NZ. Examples of these are:  NZAA (New Zealand Asian Association); Auckland Multicultural Society; NZCW (National Council of women of New Zealand). She has also participated in research groups with (Aotearoa Latin American community) ALACINC and Ethnic Communities in Auckland.

Julian Lopez

Director Tierra Viva


He began studying dance in 2011 with Marisol Cerero in the Folkloric group of the National University of Colombia. He further studied classical ballet, jazz, Colombian and international folk dancing, and salsa.

He has been a member of several Colombian National Dance Companies, including the Jaime Orozco National Folk Ballet, Colombian Folk Ballet Tierra Colombiana, Romir Echeverry Ballet, and the Herencia Viva National Dance Company. He was an outstanding dancer with Herencia Viva directed by the teacher Mónica Mercado, which included participating in a few world tours.

He is currently the co-director and choreographer of the Tierra Viva Colombian Folk Dance Group. During his dancing career, he has participated in a few international tours to countries such as Mexico, Panama, Spain, and Italy.

Outside of dancing, he has studied Business Administration, but throughout his career, he has dedicated his free time to dance and inspiring others with his love for it. Upon arriving in New Zealand, he met Diana Prieto and agreed to support her project and start co-directing Tierra Viva, putting his passion for Colombian folk dancing to use as a performer and teacher.

Group members

Monica Sempertegui.PNG


Since Feb 2018

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Since 2019

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Since May 2019



Since August 2020



Since January 2021


Maria Jose

Since 2023

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Since 2018

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Since Sept 2019

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Since 2019



Since January 2021

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Since March 2023



Since 2020


Ana Maria

Since 2019



Since 2019



Since 2019



Since January 2021



Since 2023

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