Spotlight: Former Orlando Ballet Dancer Israel Rodriguez Heading To His Homeland, Cuba
Israel Rodriguez is a former Orlando ballet dancer and instructor who performs and teaches in central Florida and across the world with various groups. Rodriguez is leaving to visit Cuba this weekend. He was born there and still has family in Ciudad de Camagüey.
He's lived in Orlando for 15 years and has made his name as an international artist. Rodriguez is thinking about retiring from ballet to pursue his other passion, film making. He hopes to give his final on stage performance in his home country.
"I'm trying to get this performance as a goodbye, not to mention it would be an honor to perform in my own country after more than 25 years," said Rodriguez.
He started dancing at a very young age and says in Cuba, ballet was a profession he took very seriously.
"One thing we learn in Cuba is to give everything when you dance, to dance with your heart."
That is the lesson he has been teaching young ballet students in central Florida and abroad. Hear more of our conversation with Israel Rodriguez by clicking the player above.