Lee Gumbs, Courtesy Ginestra

Janelle Ginestra Shares Her Grandma's Recipe for Enchilada Pie

Growing up, commercial dancer and choreographer Janelle Ginestra loved watching her Grandma Betty cook. "She's a 4' 11", adorable little Mexican woman, and would always cook us tortas and Mexican food," Ginestra says.

Her favorite of her grandma's dishes is enchilada pie. "I'm half Italian and half Latin, so I always loved that it was like a Mexican lasagna," she says. Today, Ginestra cooks it herself whenever she's trying to impress her friends: "Because it's something you can rely on tasting good—you can't go wrong with tortillas, meat and cheese, ever."


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsps butter
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1–2 tsps salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsps chili powder
  • olive halves or pieces (at your discretion)
  • 8 oz grated cheddar cheese or shredded cheese blend
  • 6 or 7 corn tortillas, lightly buttered


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Fry together beef, onion, garlic and butter until onions look clear and meat is cooked. Then drain the excess liquid.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together tomato sauce with salt, pepper, chili powder and olives. Combine with meat, mixing well.
  4. In a buttered pie pan, place a tortilla. (If your tortillas are too small to fit the baking dish, add extra pieces of tortilla to fill out each layer.) Then add enough meat mixture to cover the tortilla, then sprinkle some cheese. Repeat that pattern 5 times, ending with a tortilla, then sprinkle more cheese.
  5. On top, add about 1/3 cup water. "I usually fill half the empty can of tomato sauce with water," says Ginestra.
  6. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbling.

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AMDA's 4 Tips for Acing Your Next Audition

Ah, audition day. The flurry of new choreography, the long lines of dancers, the wait for callbacks. It's an environment dancers know well, but it can also come with great stress. Learning how to be best prepared for the big day is often the key to staying calm and performing to your fullest potential (and then some).

This concept is the throughline of the curriculum at American Musical and Dramatic Academy, where dance students spend all four years honing their audition skills.

"You're always auditioning," says Santana Trujillo, AMDA's dance outreach manager and a graduate of its BFA program. On campus in Los Angeles and New York City, students have access to dozens of audition opportunities every semester.

For advice on how dancers can put their best foot forward at professional auditions, Dance Magazine recently spoke with Trujillo, as well as AMDA faculty members Michelle Elkin and Genevieve Carson. Catch the whole conversation below, and read on for highlights.

July 2021