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Fri, August 23, 2019

Ballet Folklorico de UTSA wins big at dance competition

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Ballet Folklorico de UTSA, a student organization housed in the Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies, recently received five first place trophies and one second place trophy at the Bailes de Mi Tierra competition in Round Rock, Texas, last month. This was the second year the group has participated in the competition.

“I was lucky enough to be part of the competition group,” said Andrea Pineda, sociology major and Ballet Folklorico de UTSA secretary. “The entire weekend was a thrilling experience, from performing to watching the hundreds of other entries. At the end of it all, our hard work was worth it as we brought home first place in our group entry. The competition gave us a lot of inspiration and motivation to be the best dancers we could be.”

The group previously won first place at the same competition in the spring of 2018. They also competed and won second place at Roadrunner Live in 2017 and first place in 2018.

“These competitions took months of preparation and planning. It definitely wasn’t easy, but it was very rewarding,” said Alyssa Arguijo, medical humanities major and Ballet Folklorico de UTSA vice president and co-captain. “Being able to accept so many awards have been very memorable because it recognizes the countless hours that have been put into this organization.”

In addition to preparing for competitions, the group has also performed at a variety of events on and off campus, including Fiesta UTSA earlier this month.

“Ballet Folklorico de UTSA has showed me many things, but one of the most important is how much effort it takes to be part of an organization,” said Stephanie Elizalde, pre-nursing major and Ballet Folklorico de UTSA treasurer and co-captain. “UTSA is our home, and a great place that has given us wonderful opportunities to evolve. I can say that performing and participating during events is one of them.”

Ballet Folklorico de UTSA was established in 2017 by Dr. Sidury Christiansen, assistant professor in the Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies, as a way to perform, educate, and preserve folkloric dance.

“One of the main purposes of Ballet Folklorico de UTSA is to show the beauty of the different cultures and dances from the various states of Mexico,” said Elizalde. “Every dancer in Ballet Folklorico has a passion for what they do. Every step, every sweat drop, every practice, we do it for love and passion to represent our roots and culture.”

The group has also provided opportunities for leadership skills and development for its members and officers.

“Being part of Ballet Folklorico de UTSA has helped me develop my leadership, communication, and teamwork skills,” said Monica Magallanes, sociology major and Ballet Folklorico de UTSA historian. “This organization grew rapidly within a few semesters, and it became important for my team members and I to learn these skills so that we can create a stable and fun environment for our members. We not only learn about the different cultures and traditions within Mexico, but we also learn about networking with our UTSA community and those around the San Antonio area.”

Over the last two years, the group has grown from five to more than 20 members. All UTSA students, regardless of background, major, or degree, are welcome to join.

“I think people should join our group because it is such a great opportunity to learn about Mexican culture and dance,” said Arguijo. “There are no other ballet folklorico organizations at UTSA, and there are only a couple of others in San Antonio, so that makes us a very unique organization.”

“Ballet Folklorico is an art that has helped me learn more about my culture and connect with people around my community,” added Magallanes. “To me, it is more than just dancing. Our dances tell stories and traditions about Mexico and its people. Although this organization mainly focuses on Mexican culture, anyone from any background can join. Not only do we have fun during practices, but we also have fun during performances and events that we do.”

Learn more about Ballet Folklorico de UTSA.

Courtesy photos 


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