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UFS 2018 “Bailando Sin Fronteras” will take place at the University of California, Santa Cruz on February 2, 3 & 4 and is being hosted by Los Mejicas de UC Santa Cruz.  The organizing committee is proud to announce the participation of Maria Luisa Colmenarez as the workshop presenter on “Career Paths Integrating Folklorico”.

Maria Luisa Colmenarez
Mexican Folk Dancer/Cultural Activist

Maria Luisa has served as Artistic Director for Grupo Mizoc de Sacramento, Danzantes del Alma de UC Davis, Folklorico Latino de Woodland, Los Lupeños and Alegria de San Jose. Performance highlights include serving as Dance Captain with Linda Ronstadt’s ‘Mas Canciones’ Tour, the pro-omnibus performance at Candlestick Park for Pope John Paul II, six seasons as a performer at the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival; and Artist-in-Residence and performer for the Hawaiian Ethnic Dance Festival in Oahu.

She is an NEA Folk Arts grant recipient, former California Arts Council, Artist-in-Residence and Dance Grant Panelist. She is a member of the National Association of Latinos in Arts and Culture (NALAC) and graduate of their inaugural Leadership Institute. She is a graduate of the inaugural class of the  Multicultural Arts Leadership Initiative sponsored by 1st Act Silicon Valley.  She has served as dance faculty member of the International Mariachi Conference in Las Cruces, NM and the International Mariachi Festival in San Jose, CA.

She co-authored, with Nicole Fravel,  the PeeWee Mariachi Curriculum for the Mexican Heritage Corporation and Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose with support from from FIRST 5 of Santa Clara County. Through her work with the federal nonprofit, Danzantes Unidos de California, she has launched the initiatives: Folklorico-On-Wheels, Director’s Dialogue, University Folklorico Summit & Festival Sin Fronteras.  She is currently Executive Director for Danzantes Unidos. She is co-founder/creator, with Rick Moreno, of San Jose’s “La Ultima Parada: A Celebration of Life on the Day of the Dead”.  

In 2013, she joined as Cultural Consultant on the Disney/Pixar film, “COCO”.  As a visual artist, she has received awards and honorable mention for her sculptures in ceramic, glass and bronze. In 2016, she was honored with the “Folklorico Lifetime Achievement” award at Danzantes Unidos.


Registration for UFS 2018 is open to all leaders & administrators (ages 18+) of high-school, college and university folklorico groups throughout the nation.

Info packet: click here.

Online Registration: click here.

#UFS2018UCSC #BailandoSinFronteras

The University Folklorico Summit (UFS), an initiative of Danzantes Unidos, is a three-day leadership and cultural arts conference designed for collegiate folklorico groups. UFS provides a forum for university folklorico group leaders to meet, share their best practices, and strategize for their communities.


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