Gabriela Estrada

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Dr. Gabriela Estrada’s passion is to promote dance as art, tradition, and culture. Born in Los Angeles, she was raised in Mexico here she studied dance and music, prepared for a career as a translator and performed in musical theater productions. She returned to California for her BA in Dance at the University of California, Irvine where she danced as part of the UCI Spanish Dance Ensemble, Ballet Folklórico de UCI, collaborated with outreach programs, and served as a member of the Hermosillo-Irvine Sister City Foundation.

In 1996 she founded Dance Collage School,  affiliated with the Royal Academy of Dance, and in 1999 she established its youth company: Dance Collage Group. In 1999, Dr. Estrada was awarded a research grant to travel to Spain to study the different styles of Spanish dance, produced The Best of Broadway musical theater revue, and joined the University of Sonora Department of Dance. At UNISON, she taught technique classes in ballet and contemporary jazz, as well as lecture classes in dance science and movement analysis.

In 2007, Dr. Estrada received a fellowship to study an MFA in Dance at UCI, where she taught technique courses, lead the Spanish Dance Ensemble, participated as choreographer at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts and South Coast Repertory Theatre, collaborated as translator and marketing assistant with the New World Flamenco Festival, and joined Creative Connections Arts Bridge outreach program as scholar teaching dance in Orange County schools and studios.

In 2010 Dr. Estrada received a grant from the Programa Editorial de Sonora to publish her MFA thesis, The Choreographic Development of The Three-Cornered Hat through the 20th Century. The following year, she enrolled in the Ph.D. in Flamenco Interdisciplinary Studies program at the University of Seville, where she enlivened a tap dance community and participated as musical theater choreographer. Dr. Estrada’s dissertation case study was presented at the Dance on Camera Festival in New York, which lead to receiving a fellowship grant from the National Association of Latino Independent Producers for Documentary Directors which gave her the tools to film  “ENI9MA: The Legend of Félix” in 2012.

Dr. Estrada has endeavored to build bridges of international multidisciplinary and multicultural collaboration exemplified through Flamenco de Sol a Sol Productions and the audiovisual international choreographic collaboration project Travesías: Our Journeys Through Art and Education, where fellow artists have joined to bear witness to the values of migration. Dr. Estrada is currently presenting her Ph.D. dissertation research on the contributions of flamenco to ballet through lectures, master classes, and publications, while collaborating as a dance critic and teaching artist in professional dance schools, such as Ballet Hispánico, in New York City.