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Meet Shirley Mejia of Sam Houston State Ballet Folklorico in Huntsville

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shirley Mejia.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am the current president of Ballet Folklorico. The organization started at Sam Houston State University during fall 2013 because there was no organization that celebrated the Mexican culture through dance. When I joined Nereyda Vera was president and when she graduated in fall 2017 I became president. My family is from Veracruz and my grandmother loved dances from the region. When I used to visit her, she would play Huapangos Veracruzanos, which are traditional folklore dances. When I was four years old, I joined Amanda’s Dance Academy in Grand Prairie, Texas. When I arrived in SHSU, I learned about Ballet Folklorico and joined. Now as president, I bring twelve years of dancing experience.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It hasn’t been a smooth road although it may seem like it. Practice space has been one of the most stressful struggles because we need wood floor and a big mirror in order to hear and see our steps. We practice outside our dorms but sometimes the weather isn’t in our favor. Also, our shoes along with our knees would love to have a wood floor rather than concrete. So, if anyone would like to host us in a practice room we will accommodate. On the other hand, we also struggle with money for outfits for performances. The outfits are expensive because they are unique and represent each region. Since members change almost every semester, we need to purchase new outfits often. We have managed to do plenty of fundraisers to raise funds for outfits and travelling to competitions. Last semester we were able to raise funds to buy new costumes for our competition this coming March. Regardless of these obstacles we persevere and get things done.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Sam Houston State Ballet Folklorico story. Tell us more about the business.
We are a traditional Mexican folklore dance organization. We display Mexico’s unique culture through dances from various regions of Mexico. We perform around campus and town to entertain people with some traditional dancing that has been around for more than six decades. I am most proud that we all get to embrace this Mexican culture in a way that speaks to thousands just by watching. What astonishes me the most is that with new members joining every semester we come together as a family while learning a new form a dance regardless of our experience, background, or culture. I’m most proud of the relationships that form here within us knowing that we can count on each other for whatever may arise. We are grateful to have formed new support systems with our advisor, Montse Feu, assistant professor at the Department of World Languages and Cultures and with members of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
In one of our performances the heel of one of our dancers broke off but she managed to keep dancing and we kept going without laughing. Luck is a word that has a different meaning for everyone you may ask. I believe that our hard work has paid off in being able to accomplish a goal we set our minds too. People tell us “good luck” all the time and we appreciate it but we know that we have worked hard for said performance that no matter the result we know we did our best. Therefore, the role of luck may be in the air but we rely more on our hard work getting us where we want to be. With this attitude, we have won four trophies at the national competition of ACADEZ in San Antonio.


  • Membership fee: $35
  • Honorarium for performances: negotiable

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
SHSU Ballet Folkorico

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