University's Ballet Folklorico Classes Begin March 24

A chance for children and teens ages 5-18 to explore the beauty of the traditional dances of Mexico will be the focus of "Mexican Ballet Folklorico" classes at Texas A&M International University this Spring.

Classes will be held at the University on Saturdays in the Kinesiology/Convocation Building, Room 204. Class dates are March 24 and 31 and April 7, 21 and 28.

Class times are: 10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m., Grades 7th - 12th (ages 12 - 18); 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m, Grades 4th - 6th (ages 8 - 11); 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m, Grades 1st - 3rd (ages 5 - 7); and 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m., Boys, Grades 1st - 5th (ages 5 - 10).

Cost is $30 and previous dance experience is not required.

Course instructor is Gabriela Mendoza-Garcia, director of the A&M International Ballet Folklorico, and a former professional dancer with the Roy Lozano Ballet Folklorico de Texas.

Mendoza-Garcia said that while the course focuses on basic dance principles and techniques of Mexican Ballet Folklorico, it also serves to help students to understand Mexican culture and traditions.

"We consider this an important educational outreach effort that helps students to establish an artistic link to a heritage and to celebrate one of the most cherished of Mexican art forms. We'll work on building strength, balance, posture, grace and discipline and students will learn "zapateado" basics. We'll follow with skirt work, dance techniques and performance styles. It's a great opportunity for students to learn and celebrate a rich and diverse culture," she said.

To register for the class or for more information, please call the University's Office of Special Programs at 326-2700 or visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 332. Mendoza-Garcia can also be contacted at 326.2280 or by email at

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