Brunilda Ruiz

Title: Dancer, Dance Instructor, Choreographer
Location: Waldwick, New Jersey, United States

Brunilda Ruiz, Dancer, Dance Instructor and Choreographer, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Artists for dedication, achievements, and leadership in performing arts.

Ms. Ruiz became a dancer because she was inspired by a dancer as a child, and found that she had learned her craft at the YMCA. Ms. Ruiz turned to her family to help support her dream and eventually began studying dance at the YMCA on 92nd Street in New York City under the tutelage of Martha Melinkoff. Since then, she has been an instrumental artist. She earned a diploma from the High School of Performing Arts in 1954 and later continued her studies at the State University of New York at Empire State College, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in 1995.

Early in her career, Ms. Ruiz performed as a charter member and principal dancer at the Joffrey Ballet from 1955 to 1964. During that time, she also became a soloist at the New York City Opera from 1959 to 1961. Following this period, she performed as a charter member and principal dancer at the Harkness Ballet from 1963 to 1970. Ms. Ruiz went on to help establish the Puerto Rican Dance Theatre. She then served as the Associate Director of the Baron Ballet Company from 1976 to 1983, while also teaching at the New Ballet School founded by Eliot Feld. From 1983 to 1986, Ms. Ruiz served as Ballet Mistress of the Milwaukee Ballet Company and received a choreographic fellowship from the New Jersey State Council of the Arts in 1983 and 1986. For the next fifteen years, she brought her expertise to serve on the faculty of her alma mater, the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. She also taught as an instructor of ballet at the New Jersey Ballet School and The Julliard School.

Brunilda Ruiz

Ms. Ruiz was born in Puerto Rico and came to the United States as a young child. She was one of the few Puerto Rican ballerinas in her day. She met Robert Joffrey while a student at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. Joffrey chose her as one of the six original members of the Robert Joffrey Ballet. Ms. Ruiz performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Middle East, India and the Soviet Union. Additionally, she earned many accolades in her career, including the National Choreographic Award from the National Association of Regional Ballet and Dancer of the Month by Dance Magazine. She also received several grants from the New Jersey State Council of the Arts and is credited with choreographing dances for “Holberg Suite,” “Ballet Espanol,” “Ritmo Indio,” “Variations on a Theme by Chopin” and many other works. Furthermore, she starred in the short film, El Baquiné de Angelitos Negros featuring salsa legends Willie Colon and Celia Cruiz.

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Lifetime Achievement

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