Closing the Books on No. 19, Bailando Sets Sights on 20th annual festival in 2019

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A venerable fall tradition in the Coastal Bend, the Bailando International Dance Festival celebrated its 19th year with guest artists Ad Deum Dance Company (Houston), Ballet Austin (Austin), Danza Universitaria (Costa Rica) and NobleMotion Dance Company (Houston). The annual series of well-attended evening dance concerts and master classes was held Oct. 4-6 at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

Associate Professor and Director of Dance Jilissa Cotten says the festival attracted more than 1,000 dancers, choreographers, teachers and audience members over the course of its three-day run as well as two Corpus Christi ISD schools that attended the Oct. 5 evening concert. Cotten, the festival’s producer, notes that Danza Universitaria’s bilingual master classes attracted 300 students between second grade all the way to the college level.

“The Bailando International Dance Festival’s mission is to serve as an educational outreach by providing master classes in a variety of dance styles and offering opportunities for aspiring and seasoned choreographers and professional dance companies to show culturally diverse works in an artistically growing environment,” Cotten said. “I believe we adhere to our mission in multiple capacities over the course of the festival weekend and beyond.”

Overall, the festival’s evening concert performances attracted 600 attendees while event master classes attracted 575 dancers. In addition, 10 students received scholarships to summer intensives from renowned dance companies from all over the U.S. and Costa Rica, Cotten said.

The Bailando Dance Festival was first initiated with local dance studios in 2000 as part of Corpus Christi Concert Ballet’s Dance Initiative and was held at Cole Park Amphitheater in Corpus Christi. Now a 501(c)3 organization, the festival has since evolved into an international attraction that is staged on the campus of the Island University. The 20th annual Bailando International Dance Festival is set to take place Oct. 3-5, 2019. 

“We have a lot of surprises planned for our 20th anniversary," Cotten said. “We hope to bring to Corpus Christi a special guest celebrity and worldwide dance companies to celebrate with us. You won’t want to miss it!”