University Offers Ballet Folklorico Classes for Children, Adults

Children and adults who wish to learn the art of Mexican folk dance are invited to register for "Mexican Ballet Folklorico" classes set to begin at Texas A&M International University Saturday, Jan. 9.

The classes will be held at the University in the Kinesiology/Convocation Building on Saturday mornings. Session I will be held on Jan. 9, 16, 23, 30, and Feb. 6. Session II will be held on Mar. 27 and Apr. 3, 10, 17, and 24.

Adults will meet from 9 - 9:50 a.m. The Adult class, a new offering added by popular demand, will not feature public performance.

Boys and girls ages 6 - 11 (grades 1st - 5th) will meet from 10 - 11 a.m. Boys and girls ages 12 - 16 (6th - 10th grades) will meet from 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Public performances are planned for both children's classes.

Tuition is $30 for either session or $50 for both sessions. Participants do not need prior knowledge or background in Ballet Folklorico to enroll.

Girls may wear casual clothing to class however a black leotard with white tights is preferred and a solid color Mexican Ballet Folklorico practice skirt is required. A skirt pattern is available upon request. Boys should wear comfortable clothing. A shoe with a heel is required.

Class participants will learn basic footwork or "zapatedo," correct shirt work, dance and performance techniques, and Mexican folk dances. Mexican culture, traditions, and customs will also be explored.

Classes will be conducted by Gabriela Mendoza, Dance Director of the University's Ballet Folklorico group, and Associate Director of Student Development at A&M International.

Prior to joining the University, Mendoza was a member of a professional dance troupe, Roy Lozano's Ballet Folklorico de Tejas, in Austin from 1991 to 1995. While a student at the University of Texas at Austin, she danced with El Grupo de Dance y Arte Folklorico de la Universidad de Texas en Austin from 1989 to 1991. Mendoza has studied under instructors Sylvia Jones, Salvador Ibarra, Mina Gutierrez, San Juanita Martinez-Hunter, Ricardo Garcia, Michael Carmona, Roy Lozano, Huetmanzin Lopez, and Pedro Serna.

To register for the Mexican Ballet Folklorico class or for more information, please call the University's Office of Continuing Education at 326-2700, or visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library Room 332. University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu