School of Arts and Humanities News

Ensemble explores world dance forms

UT Dallas’ Dance Ensemble will present an evening of traditional dance and dances inspired from regions around the world, featuring choreographers with expertise in Mexican folkloric dance and flamenco styles.



This diverse group of local artists will present their own professional pieces alongside new works that feature UT Dallas students.

Residency artists include Eduardo Gutierrez of the Ollimpaxqui Ballet Company, Julia Alcantra of Ida y Vuelta and special UT Dallas alumni guests Keven Jackson, Belinda Mok and Elizabeth Owens.

The performance, titled Crossing Borders II, will run Thursday, Oct. 13, through Saturday, Oct. 15, at 7:30 p.m. in the University Theatre.

Students appearing in the performance are enrolled in a senior-level dance performance course and started preparing for the show at the beginning of the semester.

Micki Saba, who teaches dance courses for the School of Arts and Humanities and is directing the residency, wanted to expose the ensemble to different dance forms with the help of local artists.

“I think one of the unique things about our program is the diversity of students enrolled in dance performance,” Saba said. “We have a flux of students from all majors including neuroscience, business and arts and technology. They may not be pursuing dance professionally, but they always work their tails off.”

Students in the ensemble have adhered to an intense schedule, rehearsing roughly three hours a day Thursday through Sunday in preparation for the performance.

Rachel Neycheril, a biology senior minoring in dance and healthcare studies, said the most challenging aspect of learning a new dance form is being aware of your form and style.

“You have to ensure that aspects unique to other dance styles from previous training don’t taint the new one,” she said. “I find that dance is the most sincere and authentic expression of myself, and thus, I can’t imagine a life without it.”

Natalie Grant, a sophomore majoring in speech-language pathology with a minor in dance, said the greatest feeling is knowing you have inspired the audience through your performance.

“That feeling is what motivates me,” she said. “The challenge in learning a new dance form has been trying to interpret the choreographer’s vision and correctly executing the technique.”

Tickets for the show are $15 for general admission and $5 for faculty, staff and non-UT Dallas students. Tickets are free to UT Dallas students with valid identification. Tickets can be purchased in advance online or by calling 972-883-2552.