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Evelyn Cisneros: One of the first Hispanic prima ballerinas in the U.S.
Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. Today, we would like to spotlight one of the first Hispanic prima ballerinas in the U.S. – Evelyn Cisneros. Evelyn began studying ballet at 8 years old as a way to overcome her shyness. After falling in love with the expression and movement in ballet, she trained extremely hard for many years and received a summer scholarship to the School of American Ballet in 1974. From there, Evelyn did an internship with the San Francisco Ballet in 1976. The following year, she became an official member of San Francisco Ballet where she danced for 23 years, performing nearly every starring role in the company’s repertoire, including Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, The Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Cinderella in Cinderella and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. Evelyn’s rise to prima ballerina was not without struggle though. We recognize and are grateful for the path Evelyn created for other Hispanic ballerinas to follow. Evelyn retired from performing in 1999, but continues her career in dance by working as the director of The Frederick Quinney Lawson Ballet West Academy.
To learn more about Evelyn and see our sources for this post, check out these links: