Meet our newest BHdos dancers!

The sixth season of our second company, BHdos, kicked off to a great start yesterday with their first rehearsal of 2014! BHdos is a talented group of young dancers on the brink of starting their professional dance careers, who get the amazing opportunity to hone their talents under the mentorship of the artistic professionals of BH. In addition to receiving training and having the chance to take class with the main company, BHdos plays a huge role in our Education & Outreach program by performing BH repertory for New York City schoolchildren throughout the five boroughs. The second company also performs at community functions throughout the city.

We’re excited to introduce three new dancers, Christian, Trevor, and Kaylee, to the team this season! Start getting to know them here:

Christian Christian DeLuna Zuno

Hometown: Colorado Springs

Moment you knew you wanted to pursue dance:

When the time came to register for high school, the designated school in my district was a Performing Arts school. Here, at the age of 15, with the help of a mentor at my middle school’s science department who would gift my first pair of ballet shoes and Jazz pants, I could go audition for the high school’s Dance Arts Magnet program. After my first semester there I realized that dance had been my secret passion all along and started pursuing it rigorously.

What are you looking forward to about working with BHdos?

As I have gotten the privilege to further my education in Dance and other topics like Latino studies and child’s psychology at New York University, my interest with Ballet Hispanico has grown. I came to admire the focus and passion for education and outreach programs the company provides to their audiences. Getting closer to my own Mexican heritage through dance is probably the most exciting part of this opportunity.

Favorite way to unwind after a long rehearsal:

As unhealthy as it may be at times, my absolutely favorite recipe for unwinding is a large cup of herbal tea with honey, chocolate chip cookies, and some Netflix. Aka the perfect trio.

Favorite place in New York City: Riverside Park

Trevor Miles Trevor Headshot Colo

Hometown: Coos Bay, OR

Moment you knew you wanted to pursue dance:

Ever since I can remember I have been a performer. If I wasn’t performing on a stage, I was singing, acting, or dancing around the house. Singing became my primary focus, but not too long after that, I wanted to learn the technique of dance; and I just fell in love.

What are you looking forward to about working with BHdos?

I am so grateful for the opportunity to begin dancing with BHdos. I am at a point in my dance training where I am finally bridging the gap between being a student dancer and a professional, and I could not be more excited and eager to work, learn, and grow with all of the Ballet Hispanico Dancers and faculty.

Favorite way to unwind after a long rehearsal:

I love Broadway, as that is a second aspiration of mine, so on my off-time I take advantage of any opportunity to see a Broadway show or any Fine Art’s related performance in the city. I also enjoy things interior design related; and watching movies is always a go-to of mine.

Favorite place in New York City: Any time I have a view of the Ocean. 🙂

KayleeKaylee Tang

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Moment you knew you wanted to pursue dance:

I cannot recall a moment when I knew that I wanted to pursue dance. Dance has been a part of my life since I was little, so maybe it would be more accurate to say dance pursued me.

What are you looking forward to about working with BHdos?

I am looking forward to the comfort of having another dance family among the many others I already have. It will be a blessing to have a community to be a part of!

Favorite way to unwind after a long rehearsal:

I love to take long naps. I always fall into my deepest sleep after dancing!

Favorite place in New York City: Riverside Park

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Maybe we just discovered a correlation between dance ability and love for the coast?

Christian, Trevor, and Kaylee will be joining some returning BHdos dancers–Ana, Kassandra, Kyree, and Molly–for the new season. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on their successes throughout the year!

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BHdos dressed up!

Looking classy

Looking classy

The dancers of BHdos wowed audiences last Saturday at Bailando Por Una Causa 2013, an annual dance benefit hosted by Baila Society. The performance was held at El Museo del Barrio, with proceeds supporting the Latino Commission on AIDS. BHdos performed the Bolero excerpt from Club Havana, where they got to dress up in glitzy costumes as they glided across the stage doing effortless lifts and partnering moves. Here they are backstage before the show!

...while still having fun.

…while still having fun.


Dancers and Injuries: A BHdos Dancer’s Perspective

Injuries are the bane of every dancer. They can strike at the worst times and keep a dancer on the sidelines for weeks, even months. How does one cope? Returning BHdos dancer Laura Montas shares her experience in today’s guest post.

My name is Laura Montas and I am a dancer with Ballet Hispanico’s second company, BHdos. Currently we are reaching the end of our season and we have experienced some wonderful opportunities. About three weeks ago I was injured on the job. I am now nursing tendinitis on my patella and a slight tear in my meniscus on my left knee. My doctor feels as though the tear is small enough to be cured with physical therapy, so I have been adamant about attending my P.T sessions and trying to get as healthy as I can.

As a dancer, your livelihood is your body and how well it can perform. When the doctor told me I had this injury I was very scared because I felt as though I wouldn’t be able to dance anymore or be able to partake in the experience Ballet Hispanico has offered me. Having a conversation with my rehearsal director was frustrating because all I wanted to do was dance and they thought it was best if I sat out for the rest of the season to focus on my knee. Nicholas (Rehearsal Director for BHdos) and Franchesca (Program Coordinator) emphasized the importance of healing the knee injury instead of pushing through the pain. It feels great to know that the company you love so much hasn’t given up on you and this is an opportunity that they’re giving me rather than a punishment.

Ballet Hispanico agreed to keep me on board and now I have a new job responsibility. I now observe company class and their shows as well as take notes for the rehearsal director. It’s definitely not as fun as being a dancer that’s part of the rehearsal process physically but I’m learning to use different tools that will help me when I return to dance.

Taking a step back and looking at dance through the perspective of a director is really eye-opening because you learn how to speak to people so that you get what you want out of them. You also begin to observe and realize the importance of form and positioning in choreography. Suddenly you have the opportunity to view your friends habits and you have the option of taking some of their habits with you when you do return to dance.

I have to admit when I was dancing I didn’t pay attention to the musical counts as much as I should have. Now that I am unable to dance I’m all about the counts! I’m able to hear the music a lot better and it’s all become very clear to me.

Even though I’m not dancing, it doesn’t mean I’ve stopped my training. I’m just using different muscles to strengthen my all-around abilities as an artist. I want to say this experience has been a gift and a curse. A curse because I am not able to dance for now. But a gift because I can now focus on some of the aspects of dance I felt I was weaker in. When I start dancing again I’ll know the importance of musicality, focus, and taking direction better. I am very grateful Ballet Hispanico has given me this opportunity . Though it’s a different one it’s extremely valid and helpful towards my growth as a dancer.

-Laura Montas

BHdos dancer Laura Montas

BHdos dancer Laura Montas


A Look Back at 2011

As we enjoy the success of our performances at the Apollo Theater this past Saturday, December 17, all of us at Ballet Hispanico are feeling proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish in 2011: a record Gala fundraiser in April; the launch of BH2, our second company for pre-professional dancers; record proceeds at our Junior Society benefit; and of course, our debut at the Apollo.

Former Company dancer and current BH2 Rehearsal Director (and 2nd floor office cutie) Nicholas Villeneuve has been with Ballet Hispanico long enough to have witnessed many of the organization’s milestones. He has also experienced a year of many personal changes. And so as we near the end of 2011, who better than him to say a few words about this year of transitions? And might we add how lucky we feel to have him with us in the External Affairs and E&O office!

It’s hard to believe that 2011 is drawing to an end, a year which saw numerous significant accomplishments being made at Ballet Hispanico.

A very famous song quotes “what a difference a day makes.” Well, let’s take it further and say “what a difference a year makes!”
Trial, turmoil and pensiveness always seem to arise when we are on the cusp of greatness. Not only have we finally begun to see the amazing growth of the Company via our new artistic leader, Eduardo Vilaro, but the School has grown by leaps and bounds in it’s tutelage and the Education & Outreach department now houses the official second company of Ballet Hispanico, BH2.

As a former Company member I have witnessed the institution go through a myriad of changes, inventing and reinventing itself on the wheel. We have always had a strong voice in the community and a plethora of riches in the Latino diaspora to infuse into and onto anyone that comes into contact with us. Finally the vision is at its clearest and we continue to climb, waving our banner proudly and valiantly in the winds of education, preservation and artistry.

Having been given the opportunity to run and direct the second company, education and creativity have always been strong passions of mine. To be able to mold emerging artists–teaching them tricks of the trade, giving them survival tools that I have gathered along my journey, and refining their technical abilities–has left me overjoyed, satiated and with a huge sense of accomplishment.

More often than not we doubt ourselves and question our capability and integrity when put to the test. However, the more we choose to run from the challenge the more it seeks you out. I feel I have been molded and mentored by three people that have made me capable of stepping into these shoes and without hesitation start this upward climb to develop a new, vibrant and valuable sector of Ballet Hispanico. Linda Kent, Eduardo Vilaro and Tina Ramirez have taught me the values of this art form and equipped me with the armor to pass on not only the gift of dance, but of what it is to breath and give life to something that you believe in. BH2 may be only an embryo, but the outreach and audiences that we have achieved in our short sojourn is unbelievable and it proves that if there is a will, there’s a way.

I have reveled in watching these 10 aspiring dancers figure out their passion and sell themselves to this art completely and unselfishly. And this program is certainly the way to reach demographics that the first company cannot penetrate, and help maintain our organizational mission of fostering education in the arts.

I feel very blessed to be in my seventh year with this organization, and to have been able to wear so many hats and be so many things on so many occasions. I have sold my soul to dance and in so doing to this institution. I will be forever grateful for the love, generosity and lessons that I gain daily and I feverishly anticipate the next growth spurt in 2012.

As I shared with Eduardo recently about his new work Asuka, it reminds me of immigration mixed with a sense of infectiousness. We as a people of many diverse races arrive with so much to offer, wondering if we will ever “get in,” be accepted or make it. Yet, because of the gift, we take a chance and before we know it we are infected with influences wherever we lay our roots and grow. The movement is infectious, the music is infectious, we Ballet Hispanico are infectious wherever we go and for that we will prevail.  This work marks that new period and our time to reap the benefits of well-laid plans.

Let us continue to dream and make this home the best it has ever been!!!

Nicholas Villeneuve and the BH2 dancers


BH2’s First School Performance: A Total Success!

Those of you following us on Facebook know all about BH2, Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro’s training initiative for young and talented dancers. For you newer fans, BH2 is Ballet Hispanico’s second company, created to help pre-professional dancers develop their artistry and prepare them for a life of learning in the professional dance field. As a component of Ballet Hispanico’s Education and Outreach (E&O) division, BH2 expands the reach of the main company by providing performances, workshops and lecture demonstrations to schools, community centers and organizations.

On Wednesday, October 5th, BH2 performed at the Portledge School in Locust Valley. Principal Alan Cohen invited Ballet Hispanico as the featured assembly for Hispanic Heritage month. Our E&O team (Nicholas, Franchesca, AnaMaria and Josh) were on site to ensure the experience was engaging, well-presented and fun. In a gym packed with students and parents, the Portledge School was transported on a journey through Cuba, Brazil and Mexico. The kids were particularly blown away; click on the pics below to see their adorable handwritten messages to the dancers!