I started ballet lessons in my native San Francisco when I was seven years old. I moved to New York when I was 20 years old to continue my dance training and pursue a career as a professional dancer.
I was on scholarship at the Alvin Ailey school when Lolita San Miguel, the then ballet mistress of Ballet Hispánico, came to the school looking for dancers. She saw me in class and asked if I was interested in working with BH. The company was performing a few days later and I was invited to watch the performance. One of the male dancers did not show up for the performance and I was taught a dance just before showtime and performed with the company that night! That was my audition for Ballet Hispánico.
My favorite dance was the Yaqui Indian Deer Dance. It involved two hunters hunting and killing a deer. It was a traditional folk dance set by Jose Coronado. I played the hunted deer. Tina was very instrumental in drawing a dramatic performance out of me. I was very much a technical dancer before that time and always appreciated Tina’s passion for dance.
After I left Ballet Hispánico I went on to sing and dance on Broadway in shows that include Jerome Robbins’ Broadway and Cats. I consider my two years at Ballet Hispánico just as influential and important to my career as anything I did before or after.