Artistic Director & CEO
Director, School of Dance
Deputy School Director
Director, School of Dance
Deputy School Director
Cecilia L. Cáceres
School of Dance Programs Manager
Professional Studies Program Director
School of Dance Early Childhood Programs Associate
Communications & Engagement Associate
School of Dance Finance Associate
School of Dance Registrar
School of Dance Artistic Associate
School of Dance Administrative Assistant
School of Dance Wardrobe Associates
School of Dance Production Associates
Production Copyright 2022, Ballet Hispánico of New York, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Program is subject to change.
The taking of video, audio and photographs is strictly prohibited.
Sunday, May 22 at 1:00pm
Road to Home
Guest Performance by Alicia Robles
Music "Photograph" by Ed Sheeran
La Academia Level 3B
Teacher & Choreographer Isabella Vergara
Music "Le Corsaire: Act 1 - 23. First Character Dance” by Evergreen Symphony Orchestra
Performed by Saturday Ballet Ages 6 & 7
Lily Bologna, Zoe Cohen, Diego Dominguez, Sophia Dominguez, Ayah Elshaarawi, Sylvia Jacobs, Penelope Konno, Evelyn Lau, Indu Tripathi
Guest Performance by Kayla Sie
Music "Aquarium" by Nosaj Thing
La Academia Level 5
Teacher & Choreographer JoDe Romano
Music by Rosa Maria Camaron de la Isla
Performed by Thursday Flamenco Ages 6 & 7
Nina Armyn, Oona Armyn, Nicole Buck, Alexandra Sasha Dewalle, Solene Erdely, Martina Godas Gonzalez, Gus Hindo, Zahra Simon, Lillie Vargas
Ain't No Sunshine
Guest Performance by Maya Suzuki
Music "Ain't No Sunshine" by Bill Withers
La Academia Level 4A
Teacher & Choreographer Rebeca Maso
Music "Coppelia Waltz" composed by Leo Delibes
Performed by Friday Ballet Ages 6 & 7
Beatrice Allen, Maria Camila Barutcu, Casey Crowther, Martina Godas Gonzalez, Emilia Goodman, Gus Hindo, Zoe Howard, Ada Nugent Lehmensich, Sabrina Skelton, Roarke Slevin
It Doesn't End Here
Guest Performance by Jameson Zachery
Music "Don't Rain on My Parade" by Babra Streisand
La Academia Level 5
Sunday, May 22 at 4:30pm
Guest Performance by Ava Nicole Fincher
Music "Le Vinyl" by Christophe Filippi
La Academia Level 4B
CAN'T STOP THE FEELING!
Teacher & Choreographer Joshua Winzeler
Music by Justin Timberlake
Performed by Wednesday Jazz Ages 6 & 7
Sophie Albin, Chloe Chen, Avery Harris, Ariyana Joshi, Claire Kane, Daria McGinnis
Guest Performance by Mia Bermudez
Music "Jealous" by Labrinth
La Academia Level 5
Teacher & Choreographer Blanca Huertas-Agnew
Music "Carnival of the Animals Finale" composed by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performed by Saturday Ballet Ages 6 & 7
Olivia Bae, Kylie Blanco, Cameron Brazil, Chloe Chen, Madeline Krohn, Isabella Mingalone, Sonny Pena, Vivian Richardson, Paloma Schmid, Savannah Velez
Guest Performance by Ruby Castillo
Music "Sweet Night" by V of BTS
La Academia Level 3B
Teacher & Choreographer JoDe Romano
Performed by Saturday Flamenco Ages 6 & 7
Nora Belyi, Libi Bridges-Limon, Alba Casaseca, Ana Beth Ildefonso Moreira, Lillian Kane, Penelope Konno, Eloise Naim, Valentina Pacheco, Ilyana Ramirz Dolchine, Hailey Romero
About the School of Dance
Ballet Hispánico's School of Dance is the direct link to the organization’s values of access, opportunity, and pride for all students interested in dance and Latinx culture. The School is an accredited training center that leads with a holistic curriculum for today’s young dancer.
Ballet Hispánico's School of Dance serves members of its community through formative dance training, reaching children to young adults across the socioeconomic spectrum and at all levels of training. At the heart of its mission, Ballet Hispánico provides dozens of young dancers with merit and need-based scholarships that are individually tailored to fit the needs of each students. Scholarships are critical to filling the gap in dancers of color on the world's stages, creating not only a pipeline of talent for the professional dance sector, but also infusing long-neglected communities with artistic resources ensuring underserved voices are both celebrated and magnified. Together with your support, Ballet Hispánico can continue providing excellent dance education to countless young people for years to come.
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EDUARDO VILARO (Artistic Director & CEO) is the Artistic Director & CEO of Ballet Hispánico (BH). He was named BH's Artistic Director in 2009, becoming only the second person to head the company since its founding in 1970, and in 2015 was also named Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Vilaro has infused Ballet Hispánico’s legacy with a bold brand of contemporary dance that reflects America’s changing cultural landscape.
Mr. Vilaro’s philosophy of dance stems from a basic belief in the power of the arts to change lives, reflect and impact culture, and strengthen community. He considers dance to be a liberating, non-verbal language through which students, dancers, and audiences of all walks of life and diverse backgrounds, can initiate ongoing conversations about the arts, expression, identity, and the meaning of community.
Born in Cuba and raised in New York from the age of six, Mr. Vilaro’s own choreography is devoted to capturing the Latin American experience in its totality and diversity, and through its intersectionality with other diasporas. His works are catalysts for new dialogues about what it means to be an American. He has created more than 40 ballets with commissions that include the Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Grant Park Festival, the Lexington Ballet and the Chicago Symphony.
A Ballet Hispánico dancer and educator from 1988 to 1996, he left New York, earned a master’s in interdisciplinary arts at Columbia College Chicago and then embarked on his own act of advocacy with a ten-year record of achievement as Founder and Artistic Director of Luna Negra Dance Theater in Chicago.
The recipient of numerous awards and accolades, Mr. Vilaro received the Ruth Page Award for choreography in 2001; was inducted into the Bronx Walk of Fame in 2016; and was awarded HOMBRE Magazine’s 2017 Arts & Culture Trailblazer of the Year. In 2019, he received the West Side Spirit’s WESTY Award, was honored by WNET for his contributions to the arts, and was the recipient of the James W. Dodge Foreign Language Advocate Award. In August 2020, City & State Magazine included Mr. Vilaro in the inaugural Power of Diversity: Latin 100 list. In January 2021, Mr. Vilaro was recognized with a Compassionate Leaders Award, given to leaders who are courageous, contemplative, collaborative, and care about the world they will leave behind. He is a well-respected speaker on such topics as diversity, equity, and inclusion in the arts, as well as on the merits of the intersectionality of cultures and the importance of nurturing and building Latinx leaders.
MICHELLE MANZANALES (Director, School of Dance) is a choreographer, dedicated dance educator of 30 years, and co-founder of the Latinx Dance Educators Alliance. The Director of Ballet Hispánico’s School of Dance since December of 2016, Michelle previously led the organization’s professional company as Rehearsal Director & Artistic Associate for seven seasons. Ms. Manzanales is committed to creating an environment where all students are inspired to explore movement, feel supported in their individual dance journeys, and draw meaningful connections between dance and their lives.
Manzanales has co-presented at the New York State Dance Educators Association, ARTs + Change, and the National Dance Education Organization conferences, “Questioning TODO: A Latinx Inquiry of Culturally Responsive Pedagogy”, a direct response to the historical and continued exclusion of Latinx contributions and experiences in the dance field. A current faculty member of the Ballet Hispánico School of Dance, she has also served on the faculties of the University of Houston, Rice University, Lou Conte Dance Studio (former Home of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago), and the Houston Metropolitan Dance Center. She has been a guest artist for the Professional Work Sessions at STEPS on Broadway, the Joyce Master Class Series at Gibney, the Taylor School, New Orleans Ballet Association, the Puerto Rico Classical Dance Competition, Generation Dance Festival Houston, Artisan Ballet Company, Regional Dance America, Festival de Danza Cordoba-Youth America Grand Prix, Houston’s Kinder High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, along with numerous other dance studios, schools, and college dance programs nationwide and internationally.
A member of the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, Michelle has served on the National Association of Schools of Dance’s (NASD) Committee on Ethics, juror for the Nebraska Arts Council - Individual Artist Fellowships, a panelist for Dance/NYC's #ArtistsAreNecessaryWorkers Facebook Live Series: Arts Educators Leading the Charge, adjudicator for the Independent Study in Choreography Showing for Ailey’s BFA program, and was honored to be part of a round table planning dialogue supporting Carnegie Hall’s education project ‘All Together: A Global Ode to Joy.’ Ms. Manzanales is currently on the selection panel for 92Y’s Future Dance Festival for emerging choreographers and was a past panelist for Ballet Hispánico’s Instituto Coreográfico and the Houston Arts Alliance grants program.
Her current choreography commissions set to premiere in Spring 2022 include new works for the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Oregon Ballet Theater, and Montclair State University. Her choreography for Ballet Hispánico, Con Brazos Abiertos, described as a “savvy but deeply sincere meditation on her Mexican American background” (-Marina Harss, New York Times) and “an exceptional, heart-tugging beauty” (LA Times), premiered in 2017, and has since toured worldwide to critical acclaim including its feature at New York City Center’s 2018 Fall for Dance Festival. CautivadX, a dance film she choreographed, edited, and directed for Noche Unidos, A Ballet Hispánico Night of Dance and Unity was presented in June 2020. If by Chance... which she created for the Jerome Robbins Dance Division at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts 75th Anniversary Gala in December 2019, “unspooled dreamily atop and between the tables” (-Courtney Escoyne, Dance Magazine).
Other acclaimed works by Manzanales include her 2010 homage to Frida Kahlo, Paloma Querida, which was hailed a "visual masterpiece" by Lucia Mauro of the Chicago Tribune and was described by the Chicago Sun-Times as a “gorgeously designed, richly hallucinatory, multi-faceted vision of the artist.” Her 2007 choreography for Luna Negra Dance Theater, entitled Sugar in the Raw (Azucar Cruda), was applauded by the Chicago Sun-Times as "a staggering, beautiful, accomplished new work." Five of her works have been recognized by the American College Dance Festival, of which two were presented at the Kennedy Center (Washington, DC), for their National Gala; Pour Me Out in 2006 and The Letting Go in 2008. Manzanales’ choreography has also been presented by Texas Contemporary Weekend (Houston, TX), Spring to Dance (St. Louis, MO), Festival de Danza Córdoba (Veracruz, Mexico), Capital Fringe Festival (Washington D.C), and Fort Worth Dance Festival (Fort Worth, TX).
KIRI AVELAR (Deputy School Director) is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, and scholar based in New York City. Fronteriza de El Paso, TX/Cd. Juárez, Chih., México, her teaching philosophy employs an intersection of teaching practices through a Latinx inquiry of translanguaging, sentipensante (sensing/thinking), and critical dance pedagogies, centering Chicana/Latina Feminist methodologies and pedagogies of testimonio and plática. The movement between her cultures in the borderlands, and time lived away from the area, has shaped her interest in accessible, inclusive dance practices anchored in Chicana/Latina feminist theories and frameworks.
An NYU Teaching Fellow for the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, her decolonial curriculum praxis asserts transnational, interdisciplinary, and Chicana/Latina feminist interventions that both disrupt and reimagine our American modern dance histories, engaging students through an in-between space of embodied research and creative practice to further understand and challenge the notion of Latinidad that has been absorbed, often unnamed/unacknowledged, into the historical and contemporary accounts of dance histories. The curriculum builds on her scholarly research Descubriendo Latinx: The Hidden Texts in American Modern Dance, developed through a 2020 Jerome Robbins Dance Division Research Fellowship for the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Her correlating artistic practice provokes thought around the experiential borderlessness of Latinx artists in the United States in artistic, physical, and cultural terms, immersed in themes of ruido, mestiza consciousness, intersectionality, migration, and Latinidades through film, embodied oral history performances, interactive screendance, and soundscapes.
She is the Founding Director of La Academia de Ballet Emmanuel, a dance program she established for the Hogar de Niños Emmanuel orphanage in Cd. Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico, where she has worked with her family since 1999. Her advocacy continues through her current projects: co-curating the exhibition, The Mestizo as Ambassador: José Limón and the Transculturation of American Modern Dance for the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts; scholarly research in collaboration with the José Limón Dance Foundation; co-founding the Latinx Dance Educators Alliance, a resource site for dance educators centering Latinx/a/o/e/Hispanic contributions; and serving on the Research Committee for the National Dance Education Organization. Holding an MFA in Dance from Rutgers University, and a BA in Dance with honors from New Mexico State University, she has spent the last decade honing her craft as an educator, cultural community organizer, social justice advocate, and arts administrator at Ballet Hispánico, where she currently serves as Deputy School Director and teaching faculty.
BLANCA HUERTAS AGNEW began her training in Puerto Rico under the tutelage of her mother, Blanca E. Cortés. She later joined Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico as an Apprentice (Taller) and further became a member of the corps of ballet. Later on, she joined Ballets de San Juan where she earned the title of Principal Soloist under the direction of Ana García. During her career, she had the opportunity to perform an array of classical and contemporary repertoire. She was chosen to dance lead roles such as Lise in Fille Mal Gardée, Swanilda in Coppélia, Myrtha in Giselle, and Polyhymnia in Balanchine’s Apollo. As corps de ballet member at Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico, she was able to learn classics such as Swan Lake, Don Quixote, and Romeo & Juliet from ballet masters such as Alexander Beriozoff and José Parés. She also had guest appearances with Ballet Municipal de San Juan under her father’s direction, Victor Huertas. Her professional career allowed her to perform not only in her native Puerto Rico, but in United States, Central America, South America, and Europe. As an educator, Blanca is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7 & Partnering of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She is experienced in Classical French, Russian, Italian, and Cuban schools of dance. Her students have been accepted to International Programs such as the Royal Ballet and Paris Opera Summer Programs as well as national programs such as American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive, The Cuban Classical Summer Intensive at The School of Ballet Hispánico, The School of Pennsylvania Ballet, and Ellison Summer Intensive in NY. Blanca was the founder and Artistic Director of Pennsylvania Ballet Arts in Chalfont, PA. She is currently part of the faculty of The School of Pennsylvania Ballet and is part of the Dance Chance and Let’s Dance Community Engagement Programs of Pennsylvania Ballet. Blanca also has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Temple University with a concentration in Risk Management & Insurance with a second concentration in Real Estate. Blanca is certified to teach Progressing Ballet Technique Junior thru Advanced level. In 2017, she received the Howard Gilman Fellowship Award at Jacksonville University, where she completed her MFA in Choreography in 2019. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of Puerto Rico Classical Dance Competition. Blanca has been commissioned to choreograph for Drexel University in Spring 2020.
REBECA MASO is a former ballet dancer from Cuba. She received her training at the Professional School of Ballet Arts in Cuba under the direction of Fernando Alonso. She also obtained her diploma as a Ballet Teacher in Cuba and has been teaching for more than 25 years. She was one of the founding ballet dancers of the Professional Ballet Company of Santiago of Cuba in 1990, under the direction of Maria Elena Martinez and choreographer and dancer Jorge Lefebvre, artistic director of Royal Ballet of Wallonie at that time. In 1994, she traveled to Venezuela as a guest ballet teacher to different ballet schools in the southern part of the country, working in regional ballet festivals and teaching Cuban ballet methodology. In Venezuela, she was a member of the Ballet Nuevo Mundo de Caracas for five years under direction of Zhandra Rodriguez, where she performed neoclassic and contemporary works by choreographers such as Jose Pares, Paulo Denubila, Dennis Nahat, Gabriel Castillo, Hector Montero, Maria Rovira among others, participating in European tours and International Ballet Festivals in Cuba. During her time in Venezuela she had the opportunity to perform with Ballet Metropolitano of Caracas by Artistic Director Keyla Ermecheo in different classical ballet productions like The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and Giselle. Ms. Maso also was invited from Ballet Metropolitano de Caracas to be part of the world premiere Dejando Rastro, a modern dance created for four female ballet dancers by Carlos Orta, a leading dancer and teacher with the José Limón Dance Company and director of Corearte Dance Company of Venezuela. Ms. Maso came to the US in 1999 as a guest artist of Metropolitan Ballet of Caracas participating in the international ballet in Philadelphia. Ms. Maso is currently a student at Saint Mary’s College (LEAP), an internationally recognized Bachelor’s degree program specifically designed for current and former professional dancers. Ms. Maso was a judge of NJN Hispanic Youth Showcase at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) for three years and still teaches throughout NY and NJ.
JODE ROMANO was a guest teaching artist & graduate of the High School for the Performing Arts in Houston, Texas where she was featured in the Houston Grand Opera's Carmen. She also performed in the Franco Zeffirelli original production of Carmen, starring Placido Domingo and Maria Benitez at the Metropolitan Opera, attended by president Clinton, which was broadcast for PBS's Live From Lincoln Center and toured Japan with the Three Tenors. For over 20 years, Ms. Romano lived, studied, and performed Spanish dance in Spain and Japan, was soloist and choreographer for the José Greco Dance Company at The Joyce Theater, the Town Hall New York City, and toured the US and Spain. She was also a dancer in The Charo Show in Las Vegas with Jerry Lewis, Joel Grey and others, and taught a castanet workout on the Dr. Oz Show. JoDe Romano choreographed the Broadway Workshop production of Rita Hayworth-Hollywood Goddess, numerous Zarzuelas, and the mixed media dramatic presentation, Picasso's Guernica, at The Thalia Theater in New York.
Ms. Romano has taught at Alvin Ailey and NYC public schools. Currently, Ms. Romano conducts Spanish dance and castanet classes at the 92Y Harkness Dance Center and is a graduate of the 92Y Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) program. She has been a guest teacher at Hunter College and co-developed and taught a DEL workshop at the 92Y. Ms. Romano also taught a master class and workshop at NYU for NYSDEA and at Fall for Dance at NY City Center. She teaches at Steps on Broadway, Ballet Hispánico, the Joffrey Ballet trainees, and Joffrey summer intensive NYC, along with other locations throughout the NY metropolitan area. Ms. Romano holds a teaching license from the Bureau of Provisionary School Supervision (BPSS) under the NY Department of Education. She has completed a series of instructional DVDs on castanet and flamenco movement techniques and produced and played castanets on her "Spanish Classical Piano and Castanets" CD.
ISABELLA VERGARA is a multifaceted dance artist whose diverse passions have led her to become not only a performer, but a dance educator, yoga teacher, fitness instructor, dance filmmaker, and most recently, a Holistic Wellness Coach in training. Originally from Westfield New Jersey, Isabella began her dance training at Center for Dance Education, where she would later become a faculty member, and continued her dance education at Somerset County Vocational Technical High School’s Gifted and Talented Dance Program. She went on to earn her B.F.A. in dance from Mason Gross School of The Arts at Rutgers University in 2018, graduating Summa Cum Laude and receiving the Margery J. Turner Choreography Prize. Isabella has performed nationally at The Kennedy Center, Jacob’s Pillow, The Joyce Theater, and The Apollo, as well as internationally in the Philippines, China, and Taiwan. Throughout her career she has performed work by renowned artists such as Yvonne Rainer, Martha Graham, Lar Lubovitch, Pam Tanowitz, and Maxine Doyle.
Isabella’s passion for movement led her to study Vinyasa Yoga under the Om Factory School of Yoga, and in 2017 she became a 200 hour RYT. She has been teaching Yoga and group fitness classes ever since. Isabella has also taught dance at various studios throughout New Jersey to students ages 3-18 years old. By combining her background in dance with her knowledge of fitness and yoga, Isabella embodies a teaching style that is energetic, holistic, and creative.
With an eye for capturing dance on camera, Isabella began pursuing dance filmmaking and producing her own work in 2018. Her films have been presented in the 2018 and 2020 Mobile Dance Film Festival at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, and in 2019 she served as a juror for the festival. Most recently, Isabella is pursuing a Holistic Wellness Coaching certification through the International Association of Wellness Professionals. With this certification she hopes to combine her creative abilities and knowledge of somatic practices along with her learned skills in health and lifestyle to promote wellness within the dance community. Currently, Isabella is a freelance dancer in the greater New York area, performing regularly with Calpulli Mexican Dance Company and OCA Dance.
JOSHUA WINZELER Joshua Winzeler was born and raised in Miami, Florida. He trained with the Thomas Armour Youth Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and the School of American Ballet. In 2011, Joshua graduated from New World School of the Arts with his BFA in Dance. In the Fall of 2011, he joined Ballet Hispánico’s main Company and served as a Company dancer for the next six seasons. During his tenure with the Company, Joshua worked and collaborated with choreographers Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Gustavo Ramírez Sansano, Nacho Duato, Cayetano Soto, Michelle Manzanales, Eduardo Vilaro, Edgar Zendejas, Fernando Melo, and Tania Pérez-Salas. He continues to be a vital teacher and mentor to the School of Dance and to numerous Community Arts Partnerships residencies in NYC and abroad. In the fall of 2017, Joshua retired as a dancer and now serves as an Artistic Associate for the School of Dance.
Ballet Hispánico Staff
EDUARDO VILARO, Artistic Director & CEO
Grace Azmitia, Executive Assistant
School of Dance
Victoria Vargas, Program Coordinator
Kiefer Rondina, School of Dance Registrar
Joshua Winzeler, School of Dance Artistic Associate
Community Arts Partnerships
Tamia Santana, Chief Engagement and Inclusion Officer
Natalia Mesa, Community Engagement Director
Mariana Ranz, CAP Program Manager
Marisabel Vasconez, CAP Administrative Assistant
Lorraine A. LaHuta, Chief Development & Marketing Officer
Julio Carrillo, Digital Marketing Manager
Vincent Creer, Marketing Assistant
Mary Burns, Controller
Joshua Preston, Chief Operating Officer
Victor Millan, Facility Manager
Lynn Shipley, Operations Associate
Alexa Racioppi, Front Desk Receptionist
Jonathan Duvelson, Front Desk Receptionist
Dustin James, Front Desk Rececptionist
Support for the Ballet Hispánico School of Dance is provided by the Jerome L. Greene Foundation, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation/The Hearst Foundations, and the Miranda Family Fund. Funding for Ballet Hispánico School of Dance scholarships is provided by the New York Community Trust and the Ted Snowdon Foundation. Generous support for School of Dance scholarships is provided by James F. McCoy & Alfio J. Hernandez, The Rogers Family Foundation, Nam Tsou, Gigi Chavez de Arnavat & Gustavo Arnavat, and Maritza & Richard Williamson.
Transformational funding for Ballet Hispánico is provided by MacKenzie Scott, the Ford Foundation America’s Cultural Treasures program, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Major support is provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Scherman Foundation, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Foundation, the Tatiana Piankova Foundation, the Prospect Hill Foundation, and the Harkness Foundation for Dance. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Ballet Hispánico programming is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.