Thursday, January 3, 2019
  Alumni, Awards and Recognitions

By Maria Elena Hernandez

 PHOTO GALLERY by Paul Chouy
Password: utrgvdance (case sensitive)

Jennifer Lozano
Jennifer Lozano, a 2017 UTRGV graduate from Hidalgo.

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – The coming New Year will mark the start of an exciting chapter in Jennifer Lozano’s life, when the UTRGV alumna joins one of the premier dance companies in the world – the Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández.

“I’m just excited to perform at Bellas Artes. It’s probably the most amazing place that you could ever perform in,” said Lozano, a 2017 UTRGV graduate from Hidalgo.

She hasn’t actually seen the Palacio de Bellas Artes in person yet, “But they say that it’s beautiful.”

The Mexico City-based dance company held auditions in Los Angeles and Houston.

“There were about 400 people who auditioned, and only two of us made it,” Lozano said.

For a person now thrilled to pack her bags to become part of a professional dance company, the Hidalgo native hesitated many times to embrace dance as a subject to study or career to pursue. She cautiously agreed when a middle school teacher recruited her for the dance team. She didn't follow through when her high school director encouraged her back then to audition for the UTRGV Ballet Folklórico.

“I never wanted to because I felt like, if you were going to pursue dance, you had to be dancing since you were 3, 4 years old,” she said. “I was kind of pushing it away.”

It wasn’t until she was part of a different dance company in Edinburg that she listened to the advice of fellow dancers, who asked her, “Well, why don't you just go for your dance degree?”

Lozano said the Bachelor of Arts degree in dance at UTRGV prepared her not only for her upcoming role as a company dancer, but also for the job she had before as a dance teacher at LBJ Middle School in Pharr.

“They really do prepare us in going forth in our dance career," Lozano said, adding the auditions at UTRGV helped with the Ballet Folklórico de México audition in Houston.

“I went in with ease of mind,” she said.

Lozano thanked her family and friends for all their support. She also thanked UTRGV dance lecturer Miguel Peña, who was excited to hear she was going to be part of the world-famous Ballet Folklórico de México. 

“He told me, ‘'I knew you would make it,’” Lozano said. “He’s always been super supportive. I'm very thankful for him.”

And now the UTRGV alumna wants to encourage others to pursue their passions, as well.

“Just go for it,” she said. “Do it with all of your heart. It’s really going to get you places.”


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.