Ballet Hispánico

Latin Social Dance Class
Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 6pm EDT

About the Class

NC State LIVE and the Dance Program have joined forces to bring you a Latin Social Dance Class with the inimitable Ballet Hispánico. The Zoom class, taught by Lyvan Verdecia, a member of this world renowned company, features Afro-Cuban, Son, Danzón, Mambo and other Latin dance forms.

This class is open to all ages and abilities. Feel free to come solo or bring a partner!

NC State LIVE is strongly committed to making our programming accessible to people of all abilities. If you have an accommodation request, please email Liza Green, associate director at

NOTE: Please register by noon on March 23 (the day of the event). This event will take place via Zoom. If you do not have a Zoom account, please sign up for a free Zoom account in advance of the event.

Choreographers with Cocktails & Mocktails: Danzón
Wednesday, February 17 at 5:30pm

Join Eduardo Vilaro, artistic director of Ballet Hispánico, and members of this revered company to watch a piece of from their iconic repertory, Danzón. Part conversation, part performance, this interactive Happy Hour event will give you a taste of the company’s powerful work together with a conversation with choreographer, Eduardo Vilaro, moderated by NC State alumna Daniela Patino-Zabaleta.

Initially evolved from Haitian contradance, the Danzón has been called the official dance of Cuba. Eduardo Vilaro has taken this traditional and quintessentially Cuban dance form and reinvented it with contemporary language to construct a joyous celebration of music and movement.

About Ballet Hispánico

“This dance company can wake up the neighborhood with a sudden, brassy shout or it can croon softly in your ear, whispering words of love.”

The Star-Ledger

Ballet Hispánico brings communities together to celebrate and explore Latino cultures through innovative dance performances, transformative dance training, and enduring community engagement experiences.

Founded in 1970 by National Medal of Arts recipient, Tina Ramírez, the organization emerged during the post-civil rights movement on New York’s Upper West Side, providing a safe haven for primarily Black and Brown Latinx youth seeking artistic sanctuary during New York City’s plight in the 1970s. 

The need for place, both culturally and artistically, led families to find Ballet Hispánico. The focus on dance as a means to develop working artists, combined with the training, authenticity of voice, and power of representation, fueled the organization’s roots and trajectory.

With its strong emphasis on dance, achievement, and public presence, the organization has flourished in its three main programs: its Company, School of Dance, and Community Arts Partnerships. The organization serves as a platform for historically omitted and overlooked artists providing them with increased capacity, voice, and affirmation. Over the past five decades, by leading with Latinx culture at the forefront of performance, education, and advocacy, Ballet Hispánico’s mission is a catalyst of change and possibility for communities throughout our nation.

About Eduardo Vilaro

Eduardo Vilaro (Artistic Director & CEO) rejoined Ballet Hispánico as Artistic Director in August 2009, becoming only the second person to head the company since its founding in 1970. In 2015, Mr. Vilaro added the role of Chief Executive Officer to his responsibilities. He has been part of the Ballet Hispánico family since 1988 as a dancer and educator until 1996. After completing his master’s in interdisciplinary arts at Columbia College Chicago, he 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. Mr. Vilaro has infused Ballet Hispánico’s legacy with a bold and eclectic brand of contemporary dance that reflects America’s changing cultural landscape. Born in Cuba and raised in New York from the age of six, he is a frequent speaker on the merits of the intersectionality of cultures and the importance of nurturing and building Latinx leaders.

Mr. Vilaro’s own choreography is devoted to capturing the Latin American experience in its totality and diversity, and through its intersectional points with other diasporas and ability to spurn new dialogues about what it means to be an American. He has created more than 40 ballets during his career for Luna Negra and Ballet Hispánico, with commissions from the Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Grant Park Festival, the Lexington Ballet and the Chicago Symphony. In 2001, he was a recipient of a Ruth Page Award for choreography.

The recipient of several awards and accolades, Mr. Vilaro 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.

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 can initiate ongoing conversations about the arts, expression, identity and the meaning of community.