Artistic Director & Scholar

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Gabriela Mendoza-Garcia Ph.D. is an Artist and Scholar. As a young adult, Mendoza-Garcia performed in the Laredo Ballet Folklorico, El Grupo de Danza y Arte Folklorico de la Universidad de Tejas (UT Ballet Folklorico), and Roy Lozano’s Ballet Folklorico de Tejas. She earned a Bachelor and Master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Upon graduation from the University of Texas at Austin,  she returned to Laredo, Texas. Dr. Mendoza-Garcia and six university students founded the Texas A&M International University Ballet Folklorico (TAMIU) in 1996. She served as the Director of the Texas A&M International University Ballet Folklorico from 1996 to 2007. She also directed a folkloric dance group for children in Laredo, Texas, known as the TAMIU Ballet Folklorico Juvenil from 1997 to 2007. Dr. Mendoza-Garcia is a member of the Asociacion Nacional de Grupos Folkloricos and has served on the Executive board of this organization as Membership Chair and Vice-President.

In 2013, she earned a doctoral degree in Critical Dance Studies from the University of California, Riverside. Dr. Mendoza-Garcia began her own folkloric dance company in Laredo, Texas in 2013 after finishing her doctoral studies. She has presented her scholarly research at the Congress on Research in Dance, National Association for Chicana/o Studies, Sal Castro Memorial Conference on the Emerging Historiography of the Chicano Movement, and the Global Reach of the Fandango. These conferences were located in Albuquerque, New Mexico; San Antonio, Texas; City University of New York; at the University of California at Santa Barbara; and in Claremont, California.  In 2016, Dr. Mendoza-Garcia was inducted to the City of Laredo, Commission for Women Hall of Fame representing Arts/Media/Communication for all her contributions in promoting Mexican folkloric dance to the community of Laredo, Texas.

2 thoughts on “Artistic Director & Scholar

  1. Michael

    Thank you for dedicating your graduate studies to folklorico. This is a topic I’ve always found interesting as my folklorico-life experiences have predominately been based north of the border. There’s a lot of great folklorico scholarship coming out of Mexico, but very little if any research on imported folklorico. I think this is a topic worth exploring if not for its political implications, then for its its cultural and even economic effects. I look forward to reading the rest of your article. All the best–

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Michael, thanks for your feedback. Yes, imported is a great word to describe folklorico in the U.S. There are some people that bring the dances with them as the migrate–the guelaguetza of Los angeles is an example. Another example are mexican choreographers and dancers that migrate to the U.S. Some groups hire Mexican choreographers to teach their groups. So, it is imported. Well, this blog is a way for me to think through my ideas. Will let you know when my article is published. Thanks again.


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