"As a mexican/american female choreographer, I create work that is political because it represents women’s rights to express themselves freely. My work aims to give a voice to the female body, and the female psyche. I create work with the intention of unveiling my deepest fears, to un-hide my inner voice and discover my greatest purpose. My work represents my fantasies, and my desires while echoing my history. My choreographic process is collaborative. This collaboration leads me to expand my consciousness along with the dancers. I am deeply moved by relationships, conversations and music.
The practice of creating work allows me to question everything and indulge in new fantasies. I want to inspire and connect with the world through my work. I make work to break the rules. I create dances to give a voice to my body. I make work that speaks up to my culture. My work investigates love and relationships bridging the divide between the intimate and the universal. I create work from the lens of a woman who is also a sister, a friend, a daughter, a dreamer, and a lover. My work represents the heart and soul of a woman. My work is a practice of self-love and acceptance. My work represents diversity, equality, and unlimited possibilities."
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR | CHOREOGRAPHER
Borderland native, Valeria Y. Gonzalez is a director, producer, dancer, and choreographer currently based in Austin, Texas. She began her professional dance journey by working with Ballet Master Hector Hernandez in Guadalajara, Mexico, then was offered a scholarship to attend the Ballet Divertimento dance program in Montreal, Canada. She continued her studies in New York at the Alvin Ailey School while simultaneously attending several dance intensives such as: Gaga in Tel Aviv, Movement Invention Project, SBDNY Module, B12, TL Collective, Szalt, Gallim Dance, Vim Vigor, and Pirouetteando. As a performer, Valeria has performed works by Gioconda Barbuto (Nederlands Dans Theater), MADBOOTS, David Pressault (Toronto Dance Theater), Eric Miles (Les Ballet Jazz De Montreal), Pamela Pietro (NYU Tisch), and more.
In addition to dance, Valeria also pursued a career in Communications and TV Production at the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) where she was exposed to several aspects of Film, Visual Arts, Production, and Photography. Upon graduation, she worked full-time for NBC News New York local news as an Associate Producer.
With the dream of finding a safe place that feels like home, and a community where women can be themselves unapologetically, Valeria Gonzalez decided to take action by founding VALLETO in 2014. Her unique view and inquiry in gender equality, freedom of expression, sexism, and diversity were crucial to starting her dance company. VALLETO is now an organization that focuses on the empowerment of women through contemporary dance, performances, collaboration, community projects, education, and activism. VALLETO has been chosen to be part of dance residencies and festivals such as SMUSH, APEX Peridance, HERE Arts Theater, UTEP, NYU Tisch, and more.
Valeria’s movement language describes femininity, tension, intimacy, impulse, raw emotions, and self-awareness. VALLETO has gained recognition internationally for its collection of works, and the continued projects in collaboration with dance artists, composers, photographers, costume designers, and filmmakers from all over the globe.
In 2016 she was accepted into the Graduate Dance Program at NYU Tisch School of the Arts where she completed her MFA in Dance with a concentration in Performance and Pedagogy in 2018.
"I worked closely with Valeria on her MFA thesis and she exhibited a real passion for feminist politics and bridging different disciplines and forms of research into her creative practice and choreographic vision. Through the soul-searching process she developed a clear voice as a Mexican American artist, speaking boldly to the female psyche and experience. She demonstrated a real ease with the working process of her pieces and produced a piece of enigmatic beauty and kinetic rigor. She has an innate feel for drama and risk. Her movements can be soft and vulnerable one moment and then explosive and ferocious the next moment. Her work contains a singular movement sensibility, a unique and timely point of view that needs to be heard. As a professional in the field, Valeria is a hard worker, and is able to juggle different aspect of her life as a dance artist in the city, while maintaining a peak level of physical and creative excellence." - Rashaun Mitchel (Cunningham Trustee, Guggenheim Fellow)
In 2019, she founded the VALLETO Summer Intensive (NYC: 2019, 2021 / Virtual: 2020 / Miami: 2022) with the mission to unify emerging choreographers and dance educator to provide exceptional training to future dance artists. As a passionate educator, Valeria plans to extend this program to more communities in other cities.
In 2020, she founded VALLETO Heal with the mission of creating a safe platform for women. VH is a place to inspire women to unleash their truest power, and find their unapologetic voice in the face of life, or any situation. VALLETO Heal sessions are full of embodied workshops, deep real-talk conversations, projects, and retreats that empower women in every aspect of their life.
"Valeria’s curious and open minded. There is a quixotic and playful quality to her dancing that partners naturally with her focused and receptive nature in the studio. She is an inventive, hard working talent and is exactly the kind of artist that this medium needs to promote contemporary dance not only here in the US, but also in her native Mexico." - Shannon Gillen (VIM VIGOR)
Valeria was a Lecturer of Dance at University of Texas at El Paso Dance and Theater Department from 2019-2021, and simultaneously studied and graduated from the Women and Gender Studies Certificate Program at UTEP.
Valeria is now based in Austin, Texas where she will continue to create work, teach, and choreograph.
As a Mexican American intersectional feminist educator and choreographer, my artistic research and teaching philosophy focuses on the creation of safe spaces for the uninhibited self expression and autonomy of the human body. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are at the core of my creative practice and most often a springboard for my choreographic and pedagogical ideologies. Every human being deserves to have access to an education where they have the freedom and permission to discover their own unique voice. Through the process of finding my individual and choreographic voice, I have been able to empower my students through collaboration and developed work rooted in community and safety. My teaching philosophy serves as a blueprint with which I both research my lived experience as a womyn and help others discover areas of themselves, through the body, that are in need of expression, healing, and physical and emotional release. Through the communal construction of a safe and exploratory environment, I encourage my students to be vulnerable, and to explore the strength and artistry in their honest expression. My hope is to give them the opportunity to unleash their most honest and vulnerable version of themselves. Though I am the teacher of the class, I always interact with my students as if they were already leaders and professionals in the field. I allow them to share their ideas in order to experience the class as if we are on a journey, growing and learning together. In my dance technique classes I focus on composition, flexibility, strength, muscular endurance, musicality, rituals, alignment, and artistry. My goal is to inspire self expression, resilience, discipline and reflection. My ideal classroom environment is one that is safe, and where the students can participate continuously through their own listening, observation, practice and their insights of the class.
Valeria's classes take you on a physical and sensorial journey to awaken the unconscious, and emotional inner knowledge. Valeria cultivates a safe space for the students to have a deeper connection to the movement practices. Her workshops also focus on exploring partnering dynamics, undoing old movement habits, and unveiling the psyche through a variety of contemporary dance methodologies, improvisation, and acting methods. Her goal is to invite the students to have more awareness of their bodies, their minds, and their spirits to find freedom in the uncomfortable. Valeria encourages her dancers to tap into their imaginations, and their desires for unapologetic self expression.
VALLETO CHOREOGRAPHIC / CREATIVE PROCESS
Valeria’s choreographic process excavates deep emotional states and memories through movement research, shapes, geometry, voice, the outer and inner world, sound, curiosity and collaborative exploration. She safely invites her dancers to be vulnerable and allows them to unveil the many layers that our collective consciousness hides.
Valeria is interested in the creature we all hold within. The curious creature that needs to be fed, the creature we had abandoned when we were children. Her goal is to awaken, and allow uninhibited self-expression in all aspects of the process to happen.
"Valeria pushed me to places emotionally and physically that I normally shy away from, but in the most honest and safe way where I felt entirely supported by everyone in the studio. She created a safe space from day one, and set the tone of honesty to all of us having a deeper connection and conversation every day. Her movement practices feed on the energy of the room, riding the impulse of where to push us next. Nothing she did was predictable and I love that. Instead of feeling like her (or any of the teachers) were "at the front of the room" I felt like we were on a journey together, growing together, and sharing ideas."