Ballet dancers share renewed hope for new US-Cuban relations

World Today

Many traces are showing that U.S.-Cuban relations are evolving. Among them is a pair of ballet dancers who left Cuba years ago. And they are now performing in the U.S.

CCTV America’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports from Colorado.

Ballet dancers share renewed hope for new US-Cuban relations

Yosvani Ramos and Luis Valdes have witnessed progress in the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba, and now they hope for an even better one in the future.

36-year-old Yosvani Ramos lives and breathes ballet. Ramos learned his craft in his native Cuba, at the renowned Cuban National Ballet School. He fled Cuba in the late 1990’s and has lived and performed all over the world since then.

Wherever he is, his heart remains in Cuba, where at long last, change may be in the air.

Luis Valdes, also a ballet dancer, too, hopes for a big change.

It’s been nearly 13 years since Valdes defected during a Cuban ballet tour of the U.S.

Ramos and Valdes both dance for the Colorado Ballet now. Like many who grew up in Cuba, they’ve been watching the transformation of the island from a distance.

This past March, they saw something on television that was quite startling – U.S. President Obama visited Havana, which for those who experienced years of tensions between the two countries, was almost unimaginable.

Valdes believes Obama’s visit was symbolically important. But he said much work remains to be done in Cuba.

Ramos said the U.S. has much to learn from this new relationship, an emphasis on the arts being one. Neither man is allowed to dance professionally in Cuba. But Ramos believes that day could come.