Parents who want to encourage physical fitness or pique their child's interest in history and culture may want to explore Ballet Folklórico Juvenil de Texas A&M International University, a group providing ballet folklórico lessons to children ages five to 18.
Session II classes will begin Saturday, March 23 in the University's new Student Center, room 225. The cost is $35. Dates are as follows: Mar. 23, Apr. 6, 13, 20 and 27. Missed classes cannot be made up. Class times are: 10:15 - 11:15 a.m., grades 7th - 12th (ages 12 - 18); 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m., grades 4th - 6th (ages 8 - 11); and 12:30 - 1:30 p.m., grades 1st - 3rd (ages 5 - 7).
Classes are open to children ages five to 18 and previous dance experience is not required. Students must wear shoes with a heel and girls will need a solid color practice skirt.
Gabriela Mendoza-García, director of the Texas A&M International University Ballet Folklórico and class instructor, said the program is an excellent opportunity for boys and girls in the Laredo area.
"Spring is just beginning and it's time to get moving. Ballet Folklórico lets one limber up and strengthen one's body while learning. Students build strength, grace and posture while exercising and learning about Mexican culture, customs and traditions. Ballet folklórico teaches students more than dance steps. We learn about the people and the stories of Mexico, along with team work and self confidence," said García.
García is a former professional folklórico dancer with Roy Lozano's Ballet Folklórico de Texas and has been teaching folkloric dancing to children for six years.
For more information, please contact the Office of Special Programs at 326.2700 or visit offices in the Student Center, room 126.
University office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday.