Posted: 1/25/24

TAMIU Ballet Folklórico Students Travel to France, First to Perform at Disneyland Paris


Nayeli López
Nayeli López  

A total of 20 Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) Ballet Folklórico students recently returned from a performance in France upon an invitation extended by Disneyland Paris. Their performance marked the first-ever Mexican Folkloric Dance Group performance there.

This was the group's first time performing at Disneyland Paris, located in Chessy, near Paris. Students performed a 20-minute show titled, "México en la Piel, Alma y Corazón," choreographed by TAMIU Ballet Folklórico instructor Nayeli López.

“We have been wanting to perform for Disneyland Paris for many years now," López said, "We initially got invited for December 2020, but due to the COVID Pandemic, the trip was put on hold for the future. We finally got invited again, and this time it was going to happen."

Students put in a lot of their time, effort, and dedication and performed a full, non-stop 20-minute show, López explained.

"I trained them in ballet and Mexican folkloric dance for five months leading up to the performance," she said, "We worked numerous hours, days, and a lot of thought was put into this performance. It was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity."



Students danced eight traditional folklórico, ballet, and ballet folklórico choreographic works from the states of Jalisco, and Colima, México, symbolizing their love for their Mexican heritage and how they carry México in their skin, soul and hearts.

"We had several soloists featured in the performance: Carolina Hinojosa performed a traditional mexican folkloric dance, 'La Charreada;' Andrea Flores performed 'Mexico Lindo' in classical ballet, and Alexa Sánchez performed ‘La Peineta,’" López said, "We took our respect, appreciation, and love for México and created choreographies to reflect this and carry it all the way to Paris."

Two of the choreographies, “La Mariquita” and “La Peineta,” were created in honor of López's grandmother, María Echeverría Salgado.

"She is the one person who instilled in me my love and passion for my Mexican heritage, culture, and traditions," López said, "I wanted to pay honor, remembrance, and thanks to her."

During their stay in Paris the group visited several cultural sights including the Eiffel Tower, Palace of Versailles, Louvre Museum, Paris Arc de Triomphe, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Opera Garnier, and the Basilica of Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre, López said.

She said she is proud of her students and the TAMIU Ballet Folklórico Program she's  built for the past seven years, performing four times at Disneyland California in 2019 and 2022, and Disney World Florida in 2018 and 2021.

"Our group also recently traveled to Mexico City  last July to take dance classes at the Escuela de Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández," she noted.

During the group's France tour, five senior students graduated from TAMIU on the same day of the Disneyland Paris performance. The graduates are: Clarisa Buenrostro, Ariana Garza, Ana Zulema Ramos, Jonathan Roel Ruiz, and Alexa Sánchez.

Completing the group were Gilberto Buenrostro, Andrea Aleli Flores, Angel I. Flores, Jazlynn Mia Garza, Naila Michelle Garza, Samantha Michelle Garza, Carolina Isabel Hinojosa, Kaitlyn Lozano, Melina Jazmin Mendez, Camila Morgado, Karla Elisa Poston, Carolina Ramírez, Ana Virginia Rodríguez, Mireya Turrubiartes, and Belmaris Veliz.



The students excelled at their performance for Disneyland Paris, López said.

"I am beyond proud of each and every single one of them for seeing my vision, putting the dedication into it, and making it happen," she said, "At the end of our performance, Disneyland Paris staff told us that we were the First Mexican Folkloric Dance Group to ever perform there. What a huge accomplishment for our culture and our University."

For more information, please contact TAMIU's Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 956.326.2180, email prmis@tamiu.edu or visit offices located in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library. 

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