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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Grupo Folklórico Ocotochtli to present annual showcase

GFO
GFO

Evans Performing Arts Auditorium will be lit with golden hues when Grupo Folklórico Ocotochtli (GFO) dancers walk onto the stage, their shoes clacking on wood as they get into position for the opening number. Damas hold their colorful and elaborate skirts in their hands and caballeros fold their hands at their backs. The air hums with anticipation as the dancers wait for their musical cue.
Grupo Folklórico Ocotochtli, Texas State’s ballet folklorico student organization, will present its annual showcase from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Dec. 3, in Evans Auditorium. The free entry performance will present some familiar and new choreography that the group has mastered this 2022 fall semester.
According to Bianka Gonzalez, animal science senior and president of GFO, the group hasn’t had a showcase since the pandemic started, making this event especially important to the GFO leaders.
“We’re preparing this showcase to start off a launch for next year, which is our 30th anniversary,” Gonzalez said. “So we’re going to try to make [this event] big, and get donations so we can make that possible.”
This year is the 29th year since GFO’s foundation. The humble origins of the group come from a shared love for the Hispanic culture in San Marcos and a passion for ballet folklórico that a small group of 10 Bobcats showed Texas State during the Homecoming Talent Show in 1993. Since then the group has grown from nine Bobcats in 2020 to 20 this semester.
With their surplus of dancers, the GFO’s performance set has added two new regions to their performances. The five regions they will represent during the showcase are Jalisco, Yucatan, Chiapas, Veracruz and Nuevo León with costume changes, choreography and songs to represent the unique culture of each region.
This year, co-directors Lily Cura and Camila Rodriguez have choreographed the performance with Cura’s expertise as a dance major and Rodriguez’s 15 years of experience dancing ballet folklórico.
According to Victoria “Sunshine” Torres, graduate student and secretary of GFO, the integration of new choreographers has led to a shift in footwork technique due to the choreographers’ experience and their rigorous rehearsal schedule. Dancers have practiced twice a week for two hours this fall.
“They brought like a lot of structure we really appreciate,” Torres said. “More technique, more structure. We have a routine now for every practice, like a kind of agenda.”
In addition to the new regions, guest folklórico groups are going to perform at the showcase as well. From Akins Ballet Folklorico group from Akins High School in Austin, Leon Valley Ballet Folklorico from San Antonio and Bagdad’s Ballet Folklorico from Bagdad Elementary in Leander, North Austin Area. The groups are going to perform to exhibit the growth that all the various Central Texas Folklorico groups have accomplished this semester.
Next semester, GFO is hoping to host more events and participate in the spring competitions such as the Festivales de Mexico National Folklórico in San Antonio and the San Antonio Festivales de Mexico competition.
In addition to bringing more prestige to their folklórico group through competitions, GFO hopes to welcome more dancers into the group. No matter their dance experience anyone can join the dance group according to Gonzalez.
“I joined back in 2017 with no dance experience. Five years later I’m still in the group and still dancing,” Gonzalez said. “Staff, faculty, alumni and students are welcome to join us. If you don’t know how to dance at all, or if you’ve been dancing for 20 years. No matter race, gender or ethnicity, everybody is welcome to our family.”
All that’s required to join GFO is a love for performing and folklórico. According to Yasmin Mancera, anthropology junior, GFO volunteer coordinator and treasurer, the best part of dancing she hopes to share with new group members is the thrill and adrenaline of being on stage.
“When you’re getting ready, you don’t really feel the excitement just yet,” Mancera said. “But as soon as you’re backstage, ready to go in? Oh, I just love that feeling. I use all that energy to… pop out more in the audience so people can see this is so much fun and get into our performances.”
Grupo Folklórico Ocotochtli’s annual showcase is also going to also function as a fundraiser event so that the group can expand on their wardrobe, accessories, travel and competition expenses. They will be accepting donations at the showcase through Cash App, Venmo and in-person donations.
For more information and updates on Grupo Folklórico Ocotochtli, visit its FacebookInstagram or Tiktok.

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