Hispanic Heritage Month at Ballet Hispanico

Recently, Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro  told The Huffington Post, “Ballet Hispanico celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month every day of the year.” And it’s true! Ballet Hispanico takes pride in its Latino roots and its commitment to bringing Hispanic voices to the forefront of dance.

That commitment is evident in many of the most popular works in our repertory: AsukaClub Havana, Tito on Timbales, just to name a few. But beyond our salsa steps and mambo music, each individual that dances with, works for, or supports Ballet Hispanico enriches our mission with his or her own personal identity.

Throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, we will be highlighting the stories of different Company dancers and staff members on this blog and our home page.  We want to show you exactly how we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month each and every day of the year.

First up are some of our Company dancers!

Vanessa Valecillos: “Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to express various Hispanic voices through dance and movement. The work I am able to do at Ballet Hispanico gives me the opportunity to feel very close to home and to my roots.”

Major Nesby: “Growing up within the Dominican culture was always something very special to me. It represents itself in many aspects of my life, from my choice of music to the way I cook and dance. After joining Ballet Hispanico one of things that I find so unique and special is the evident diversity within our culture. Within the Company you have many different countries represented, along with individual personalities. I find it amazing that we can all come together to share a commonality through dance.”

Donald Borror: “My mother was born in Colombia, but as I was raised in an American household, Ballet Hispanico has led me to uncover new parts of my ethnic heritage with each work we perform. Connecting to the greater energy of a culture encourages me to be honest and organic in my continued exploration of movement through such a specific point of view.”

Martina Calcagno: “My parents are both Italian, from Sicily. When I was four years old, my dad used to salsa dance, so I grew up with Latin music. By the time I was 10 years old, my passion for this music had increased and I became part of a Junior Latin group. Therefore, the repertoire of Ballet Hispanico, which is so connected to Latin culture, somehow makes me feel at home. After last season with BHdos, I realized that Latin music is the best way I can express myself.”

Stay tuned for even more words from our dancers and staff members! In the meantime, check out the official website for Hispanic Heritage Month.

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