LWRWC Hosts Ariel Serrano, Cuban Ballet.
The May general meeting of the LWR Women’s club featured guest speaker, Ariel Serrano, President/CEO, Co-Founder and Co- Artistic Director of the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School.
Mr. Serrano shared his personal life story. He and his wife Wilmian are a Cuban born husband and wife team who founded the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School in 2012. Serrano related his story about his training, his career path (beginning as a young child), and how he overcame many hardships for himself and his family to become the renowned ballet professional today.
Born and raised in Oriente, Cuba, he grew up training in the National School of Ballet system, and went on to graduate from the National School of Arts in Italy in 1990. Upon his return to Cuba, he danced with Ballet Camaguey, and then joined the Youth Corps of the National Ballet of Cuba. Next, he became a principal dancer with the Ballet de Monterrey in Mexico. In 1993, he and his wife Wilmian Hernandez defected from Cuba.
In 1994 they were invited to join the Sarasota Ballet, then under the direction of Robert de Warren, where they both danced principal roles until they retired in 2000.
In 2013 Mr. Serrano and Ms. Hernandez co-founded the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School (SCBS). SCBS is the first-ever school in the United States to exclusively teach the Cuban ballet style to beginning through pre-professional dancers. Mr. Serrano recruits the students internationally, regionally and locally.
Under Mr. Serrano’s direction, SCBS’s students have competed at multiple national and international competitions, where the school has earned top awards such as Best Teacher and Best School, and students have taken home exclusive awards including several gold and silver medals. Additionally, Mr. Serrano has guest-taught at many prestigious schools throughout the U.S., United Kingdom, South America and the Caribbean and has served as an expert judge in international ballet competitions.
One of Mr. Serrano’s greatest accomplishments is the success of his students who have gone on to perform and study at such prestigious schools and companies as the Dance Theater of Harlem, Milwaukee Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Ballet West, Boston Ballet, Ballet Manila, Ballet Municipal de Lima and the Royal Ballet School and Company.
Trish Newman, LWRWC Program chair thanked Mr. Serrano with a donation from the club. ” Your story of strength and determination has been inspiring and is a testament to the wonderful entertainment and talent you both bring and give to our community”; she concluded.