Friday, May 25, 2018
  Awards and Recognitions

By Melissa Vasquez

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – The UTRGV Ballet Folklórico and Mariachi Juvenil Aztlán will showcase their extraordinary talents on a national stage when they perform at the American College Dance Association’s (ACDA) National College Dance Festival on June 8.  

The UTRGV groups were chosen to perform at the festival that features 30 outstanding college and university dance programs from across the country. The three-day festival, June 7-9, will be presented in the Terrace Theater at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

“Being able to showcase the talents of both groups together at a national level is a very special accomplishment and celebration for the College of Fine Arts and UTRGV,” said Dr. Dahlia Guerra, the founder of the mariachi program and assistant vice president of Public Art at UTRGV.

The dances are selected by the adjudicators from each of the 13 ACDA regional conferences based on their outstanding artistic excellence and merit. The primary objective of the National Festival is to highlight, on the national level, the outstanding quality of choreography and performance that is being created on college and university campuses.

UTRGV will be representing the South-Central Conference along with Sam Houston State University and the University of Texas at Austin.

The UTRGV Ballet and Mariachi will bring to life a dramatic collage of Mexican corridos (ballads) with choreography by renowned guest artist Rafael Zamarripa and restaged by Francisco Muñoz.  The performance delivers a great impact, and will be supported by live music that enhances the artistic effect, as provided by Mariachi Aztlán

“This national recognition awarded to our UTRGV ensembles represents a great deal of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice by our students and directors,” said Francisco Muñoz, director of the UTRGV Dance Program. “The students have devoted many hours of preparation and describe this opportunity as a dream come true to perform on the very prestigious stage of the Kennedy Center.”

Also, while in Washington, D.C., the UTRGV groups are scheduled to perform at a meeting of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus at the U.S. Capitol.

About the ACDA National College Dance Festival

Bringing together schools from all over the country to perform at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., the National College Dance Festival highlights the outstanding quality of choreography and performance created on college and university campuses throughout the nation.  The 30 participating schools are selected by nationally recognized adjudicators at each of the 13 ACDA regional conferences. Selections are based on outstanding artistic excellence and merit. The dances will be performed in three different programs presented at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. each day of the festival.

Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online at the Kennedy Center website.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.