Maria Fernanda Urbaez.
Get to know her and her work
An esteemed Venezuelan-born artist, initiated her dance studies at an early age.
She has studied with master
dancers and musicians from Venezuela, the United States, Middle East and Spain.
Showing significant and natural talent in dance, as
well as musical skills, she directed her training
in Flamenco, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Belly Dance, Hip-Hop,
Modern, Folklore and Latin Dances.
Maria Fernanda holds Magna Cum Laude bachelor degrees in Theater and Dance as well as Modern Languages (Spanish) from the University of Houston, and Flamenco post graduate studies in Spain.
Currently she has been certified by the EFA (Escuela de Flamenco de Andalucia, Spain) with the legal capacity to professionally train students in the Flamenco dance art in Houston and the surrounding cities in Texas. She has been recognized national and internationally for her extreme dedication and patience in teaching, her elegant artistry as a choreographer and dancer and her immense talent and creativity as a producer.
Maria Fernanda is
the recipient of relevant awards:
- 2008 award winner of the FESNOJIV Gold Medal prize as ambassador of the Venezuelan culture abroad; In February 2010 was selected 1st Runner up, Fusion Category, in the Belly Dancer of the Universe contest Los Angeles, CA and in March of the same year she received the “Hispanic Woman of the Year in the Arts” award.
- In August 2010, along with her dance company, she won first place in all events of the 6th Annual Middle Eastern Dance Troupe Choreography Competition in Austin, TX.
- She also received her Texas Teaching Certification the same year.
- In August 2011, Maria Fernanda presented 2 pieces in the “7th Annual Middle Eastern Dance Troupe Choreography Competition” in Austin, TX and won 3rd and 1st place Overall.
- Winner of the 2012 Lone Star Emmy Award with the story “Si tu quieres tu puedes” produced by Angelica Bianco.
- In 2014 she received the Commends and Appreciation award by the City of Houston.
- Maria and her competition dance team for the 2017-2018 season achieved the maximum Platinum Power Ball award for their brilliant and magnificent performances in all the choreographies presented at the Regional dance competitions.
- In June 16th, 2018 she was honored with the proclamation by the Mayor of the city of Houston as Maria Fernanda Urbaez Day.
- In 2019 she was invited by the Institute of Hispanic Culture of Houston to present the magna production “Through my Eyes, a tribute of the culture, beauty and treasures of Venezuela” for Dia de la Hispanidad at the Miller Outdoor Theatre.
- In March 2020, Maria and her competition team again achieved the maximum Platinum Power Ball award for their brilliant and magnificent performances in all the choreographies presented at the Regional level, earning the right to compete for the first time in virtual dance competitions at the nationals.
- Again, this wonderful team of 11 students and its coach, managed to conquer the judge’s attention who awarded them the maximum Platinum Power Ball National 2020 award in July 2020.
As Artistic Director, Producer and Dancer, Maria Fernanda has been involved in numerous and diverse new works over the last 20 years, like “Venezuela Mia”, “Venezuela Nuestra”, “Nostalgia Venezolana”, America Latina”, “Danza Sinfonica Hispanoamericana”, “Flamenco Intimacy”, “Flamenco Masterpiece”, “Carmen”, “Through my Eyes”, 19 Recitals, 10 Christmas Festivals, earning a great deal of recognition and demand for her sophisticated and beautiful choreography. The creation and presentation of these productions reflect her heart: using the arts to address social issues and to give a voice to those who otherwise would be unheard.