Huffpost Arts

Cuban Ballet Dancers Defect To U.S. For Better Gigs (PHOTOS)

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CUBAN BALLET DANCERS
In this photo taken Friday, May 17, 2013, ballet dancers practice in a dance studio in Miami. These dancers could be among the young talent of any ballet company, but for the moment they are something else: Immigrants in the United States trying to land dancing opportunities while navigating cultural differences and learning English. The ballerinas fled from the Cuban National Ballet while on tour in Mexico in April, and crossed the border into Texas. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz) | AP

MIAMI -- They practice in the back of a dance studio next to a Wendy's restaurant in a strip mall in Miami. Six ballet dancers leap across the floor, hidden from view from the mothers watching their daughters in pink leotards in a front room.

The dancers move in sets of two, their pointed toes and outstretched hands a hint of the grand stages where they have performed. In the background plays a recording of "La Bayadare," the French choreographed ballet they are practicing.

These dancers could be among the young talent of any ballet company, but for now they are something else: Immigrants in the United States trying to land dancing opportunities while navigating cultural differences. The ballerinas fled from the Cuban National Ballet while on tour in Mexico.

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