Arts & Culture

Dame Libby Komaiko

In this Grateful4Her tribute message Jorge Perez, celebrates his mentor, muse, and friend, Dame Libby Komaiko. Dame Libby Komaiko is Founder and Artistic Director of the Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater, the in-residence dance company at Northeastern Illinois University.

Tribute Message

“The woman I am most grateful for is my mentor Dame Libby Komaiko. She created an empire called the Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater which has been disseminating the art form of dance arts and education in Chicago for 40 years. I feel blessed to have been brought into her life and her world where I couldn’t imagine doing anything else in my life than dedicating it to her passion and her legacy and being able to disseminate it to so many more generations of artists and leaders can experience it.”

“Our company right now is comprised many of women which I think is the backbone to what we strive for in our world and in this art form we are looking for peace and incredible leaders. Let us not look too far. They are right there. Stemming from or mothers to someone like Dame Libby Komaiko whose impact. I am one of the thousands she has impacted and the beauty of that is taking it forward for many more generations to take part in. It is incredible.”

“And the thing is how without you even realizing, one of the sectors when you find someone like Dame Libby there is a nurturing factor that comes naturally. Yes, it is work, it is art, it is education, but when you find a woman who gives of herself so wholeheartedly you begin to feel the family connection  even in the workforce how she mentors you not only as an employee but also as a mother as a friend. When you come into someone’s world at such a young age. And that is the beautify and the gift of someone who is really passionate about giving of themselves to others.”

~ Jorge Perez, Executive Director Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater.