I am a choreographer, educator, and activist that is dedicated to the transformation and empowerment of our communities. With deep conviction of the power of story and the power of people coming together, I facilitate opportunities for movers of all backgrounds to create and engage in issues that affect their every day lives. I value discovery and foster environments that encourage creativity, awareness, and connection. I utilize dance as a vehicle towards holistic well being-of becoming physically, spiritually, culturally, and politically grounded. The ultimate goal of this vision is to build bridges across diverse communities and mobilize groups towards a better understanding of ourselves and each other to effect and inspire change
Fabiola Torralba is an immigrant born in Guerrero, Mexico who was raised among Mexican Americans in the historical Westside of San Antonio, Texas. After several years of community organizing and cultural work in San Antonio, two bachelor’s degrees, and some ethnographic fieldwork, she decides to return to her first love. Fabiola then trained under Erica Wilson-Perkins at Palo Alto College receiving an Associates of Arts in Dance with additional study from the Urban Bush Women and the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange among others. Fabiola has been an instructor for inner city youth under the City of San Antonio’s Parks and Recreation Dance Program and the Senior Citizens Program at Ella Austin Community Center under the San Antonio Dance Umbrella.
Accessibility is central to my teaching philosophy. I give special consideration to individuals who are new to formal dance training and foster the leadership skills of students who have previously studied dance to create supportive environments. My goal is to affirm the bodily experiences and knowledge of students regardless of their dance background. This is done by approaching dance from a place of inquiry, seeing every movement or gesture as a starting point that is full of possibility, and by relating dance concepts to our everyday lives.
Students gain an understanding of events, trends, and figures that have shaped the history of the dance field. In addition, they learn about the varying approaches of choreographers, artists, and teachers who are shaping dance today especially those whose work reaches new communities and audiences. Their perspectives are broadened by learning about varying issues, approaches, and applications. I challenge students to question what is dance, who gets to dance, where and why. We learn to answer these questions in class and through independent study and research.
Students are asked to reflect on their own dance experiences to identify their own definitions, biases, and stylistic preferences. Through journaling, attending live performances, and observing the work of their peers, students learn to articulate dance in their own words and develop critical thinking skills in dialogue with the information and opinions around them. By understanding varying approaches to dance I would like my students to develop an appreciation for performing arts that celebrates diversity and inclusivity.
I strive to build creative learning environments that recognize the assets of each person in the room. Students are often asked to share their observations or reflections to create a space for shared learning and dialogue. These occur on multiple levels ranging from whole class discussions to working in partners and in small groups. Students are taught to consider the opinions and experiences of their peers. In addition, they are challenged to maintain a level of reflexivity in their own learning process by giving constructive feedback and suggestions for improvement.
I encourage students to think critically about how they relate and respond to other people, new environments, and to themselves within their own bodies. Helping students develop somatic awareness and kinesthetic empathy is a goal of my teaching. Both are treated as vital forms of comprehension that bring depth to artistry and performance. These insights also help individuals find new ways of referencing their relationships and impact on each other.
Students are encouraged to consider the resources embedded in the spaces around them. Objects, buildings, and structures are considered living bodies that we negotiate space with and contain meanings in themselves. We learn to be in dialogue with the elements around us as we learn to be in dialogue with each other. My goal is that the values of these teachings will extend themselves beyond the classroom walls influencing students to think critically about how they relate to people in everyday ways.
I see the classroom as a space where learning is a mutually benefiting process. I encourage students to deepen their skills by providing them opportunities to teach, choreograph, and model phrase work. Students also expand their critical thinking skills by learning how to articulate their thoughts and ask questions based on class discussions, peer reviews, and readings.
Difference and diversity is treated as an asset and benefit to building communities, engaging tolerance, and encouraging accountability. These values are expressed throughout the class and explored in team building activities and ensemble work. The classroom can be a community in itself. A space where we learn to consider each other’s contributions and find new ways of working together, employing skills that we can use within and outside the classroom walls.