Maria Fernanda Urbaez
Maria Fernanda Urbaez, a Venezuelan-born artist, initiated her dance studies at an early age. Showing significant and natural talent in dance, as well as musical skills, she directed her training in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Flamenco, Belly Dance, Hip-Hop, Modern, Folklore and Latin Dances. She has studied with master dancers and musicians from Venezuela, the United States and Spain. Maria Fernanda holds Magna Cum Laude bachelor degrees in Theatre and Dance as well as Modern Languages (Spanish) from the University of Houston, and Flamenco post graduate studies in Spain.
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.
She has been the recipient of relevant awards like 2008 award winner of the FESNOJIV Gold Medal prize as ambassador of the Venezuelan culture abroad; In February 2010 Maria was selected 1st Runner up, Fusion Category, in the Belly Dancer of the Universe contest in Los Angeles, CA and in March 2010 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. Maria Fernanda received her Texas Teaching Certification in 2010. On August 6th, Maria Fernanda presented 2 pieces in the “7th Annual Middle Eastern Dance Troupe Choreography Competition” in Austin, TX and won 3rd place Overall (Large Category) and 1st place Overall (Medium Category); winner of the 2012 Lone Star Emmy Award with the story “Si tu quieres tu puedes” produced by Angelica Bianco; 2014 Commends and Appreciation by the City of Houston.
As Artistic Director, Producer and Dancer, Maria Fernanda has produced numerous multicultural productions and concerts over the last 15 years, like "Venezuela Mia", "Venezuela Nuestra", "Nostalgia Venezolana", Ämerica Latina", “Danza Sinfonica Hispanoamericana”, "Flamenco Intimacy", 15 Cultural Encounters honoring a different country each year, 5 Christmas Festivals, earning a great deal of recognition and demand for her sophisticated and beautiful choreography. Also, "Carmen", a Merimee story and Bizet music was presented on February 2013 and April 2015. In November 2006, she became artistic director and choreographer of DANMAR Academy of Performing Arts (dance education and resident company).
Currently Maria is the Artistic Director of DANMAR Academy of Performing Arts, co-founder of DANMAR Art & Dance Studio and co-founder of the 1st Live Tablao Flamenco in Katy, TX: "La Canastera". She is teaching at Danmar´s as well as preparing and training Danmar Dance Team and the Company Dance Troupes for different events.