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Meet the Artists

Jeannette Chavez, Dance Company Artistic Director & Choreographer
In addition to being an original Company member, Jeannette is also a choreographer and instructor for the Guadalupe Dance Academy and Palo Alto College in San Antonio, TX. She holds a BA in Communications from the University of the Incarnate Word and an Associate’s of applied science from San Antonio College in Radio/TV/Film Technology. Jeannette began dancing at the age of 3 with Parks and Recreation. At the age of 15she was invited by friends to check out the new group in town and the rest is history. Jeannette has been a proud member of the Guadalupe Dance Company since it premiered in its very first show at the Lila Cockrell Theater. Having worked for the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in different capacities, Jeannette became an official full time employee in 2001. “I give thanks to God for all the blessings in my life. I am also grateful and humbled to share the stage with such dedicated, talented and loving dancers.

Belinda Menchaca

Crystal Zuniga
Crystal Zuniga has been dancing with the Guadalupe Dance Company for ten years. After several years of hard work and dedication as a student of the Guadalupe Dance Academy, she became a Company Apprentice in June of 2006. One year later she was an official Dance Company member. Aside from performing with the Dance Company, Crystal feels blessed to be the Folklorico Instructor for the youngest dancers of the Dance Academy. She loves the joy and amazing experiences the Guadalupe has brought to her life. She is proud to say that she has been part of many Guadalupe Dance Company productions such as Alma de Mujer, Historias y Recuerdos, Fiesta POPS with the San Antonio Symphony and many more. In addition to her dance career, she has also earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of the Incarnate Word and will soon be starting nursing school.

Marisa Perez
Marisa first began dancing with San Antonio Parks and Recreation at the age of three. She studied Folklorico under the direction of Huemantzin Lopez and Flamenco with Carmen “Chiqui” Linares for several years as part of Danza Hispana Infantil. She then moved on to dance with Fandango from age 12 – 18. Following high school graduation, she moved to Austin and attended the University of Texas at Austin (“hook ‘Em!”) where she obtained a Bachelors of Art in Sociology with a minor in Psychology. While in Austin she danced with Roy Lozano’s Ballet Folklorico. After graduation from UT in 2007, she auditioned for the Guadalupe Dance Company; was an apprentice for a year and became an official member of the Company in September of 2008. Marisa currently works for Child Protective Services and loves it. Marisa says “I love my Guadalupe family, my home away from home!”

Carolina Guerra Vargas
Carolina has been dancing for more than 8 years and really enjoys being part of the Guadalupe

Susana Padron Torres

Alvaro Duarte
Alvaro Duarte’s experience includes commitments of dancer, instructor, choreographer, program designer, set designer, master of ceremonies, voiceover and program director.  Alvaro has worked with the Hispanic Folk Ballet (Virginia Beach), Our Lady of the Lake University’s folklorico group, South West I S D and San Antonio I S D.  He has had the pleasure to be a part of the Guadalupe Dance Company for approximately fifteen years. Alvaro says “I love the fact that we entertain, educate, and help preserve our cultura.  It’s always exciting to see people smile, have them remember our roots, and be proud of our heritage.  Gracias a Dios for the gift of dance.”

Jorge Gaxiola
Jorge GaxiolaJorge began his professional dance career at 23 in Cancun , Mexico. The same year he founded Ballet Folklorico OCOC_NAHAN and after 2 years he move to San Antonio, Texas in 1986 where he open Ballet Folklorico OCOC-CAN which after 10 years became Ballet Folklorico de Mexico at San Antonio de Jorge Gaxiola. Then in 2009 he create Faisan Folklorico. A man of many talents, Jorge independently own Folklorico Custom Made Company since in 1980 for which he designs and creates Folklorico costumes.

Jorge is also a Ballet Folklorico instructor for the Guadalupe Dance Academy. In addition, he is the instructor for the seniors connection program for YWCA & City of San Antonio. According to Jorge “Dance is my life, from the time I wake up to the time I go to sleep”.

Luis Garcia, Jr.
Luis García, Jr., started dancing in 1994 while attending the University of Texas at Austin with El Grupo de Danza y Arte Folklorico. He started dancing with the Guadalupe Dance Company in 2000, which also gave him some exposure to other styles of dance: namely ballet, jazz, modern, tango, and tropical. In addition to dancing, Luis continues to pursue his passion for acting. He has been in several theatrical productions around San Antonio, including Legally Blonde (ensemble) at the Woodlawn Theater, A Christmas Carol: The Musical (Mr. Smythe) at the San Pedro Playhouse’s Russell Hill Rogers Theater, and Corpus Christi (James the Less) at the San Pedro Playhouse’s Cellar Theater. Luis has a Master of Arts in Communication Studies from St. Mary’s University and a Bachelor of Science in Radio-TV-Film Production from the University of Texas at Austin.

Salome Vera

Rodrigo Gonzalez Salas

Anival Lopez

Carlos Pillado
Carlos Piliado is an educator for Northside ISD, he teaches Spanish as a second language at Pease MS. He has been teaching for over 12 years including Baylor University and UTSA. As an educator, he has travelled to Europe, Mexico, Central and South America providing lectures and research on his studies for his graduate and doctoral work. He is a member of The Texas Foreign Language Association and recently presented a workshop for the Southwest Conference on Language Teaching on how to use dance and music in a classroom. He is an active member of the Spanish National Honor Society and was awarded “Hispanofilo” for his participation in promoting the Latin Culture in our American Society.