Gabriela Mendoza-Garcia Ph.D. is a folklorista and scholar. As a young adult, Dr. 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, National Dance Studies Conference, 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; Toledo, Ohio; 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.
In 2018, Dr. Mendoza-Garcia was a recipient of the Preservation of Folklore Customs and Traditions Award by the Webb County Heritage Foundation for her efforts in promoting the history of Mexico through Dance.
In July 2019 Dr. Mendoza-Garcia presented her choreography called Chicano Power before members of the Asociación Nacional de Grupos Folklóricos conference in McAllen, Texas. This choreography is based upon her research with folkloristas during the Chicano Movement of the 1970s. Their performance before a crowd of esteemed colleagues and maestros from Mexico was highly acclaimed.
In September of 2019, Dr. Mendoza-Garcia was recognized as an Outstanding Women in Business representing Arts and Culture by the Laredo Morning Times. This is the inaugural issue whereby the Laredo Morning Times celebrating Laredo women in business.