Dali Ballet Company enters a new directorship
Yespari Miller, Artistic Director
After 19 years, countless students, over 50 productions and three locations, Dalí Ballet Company, formerly Ruidoso Dance Ensemble, turns the leotards, tap shoes, ballet barres, hopes and dreams of young dancers to a new generation.
Deborah Rogers, the inspiration and guiding force of premier dance opportunities to the community, officially retires as Artistic Director. Her hand-picked successor is Yespari Miller, international premier danseur, choreographer and instructor, formerly with El Paso Ballet Theatre.
Ms Deborah, as all the dancers know her, recalls with joy how many students spent a major part of their childhoods under her tutelage and relishes every memory. In 2001, she moved to Ruidoso to open the first non-profit dance school and studio, the Ruidoso Dance Ensemble, bringing years of experience as a professional dancer , master choreographer and instructor to Lincoln County. Her professionalism attracted dancers from all over southern New Mexico and Arizona, providing a unique opportunity for local young people.
"Generations have passed through these doors and some have grown only to bring their kids to share their experiences in dance," said Robert Phaup, Dalí Executive Director who is also retiring. His 42 years in stage production with major dance companies and concert tours all over the U.S. resulted in a tenure with the Spencer Theater in Alto as Technical Director. There he became acquainted with Ms. Rogers and Dalí. “Together we saw a great opportunity to combine our professional skills and through this non-profit organization, provide a unique experience for the children and community of Lincoln County.”
"It's a challenge to keep up the amazing work done by Ms. Deborah," Miller said. But his background shows him well-prepared for that challenge. A graduate of the prestigious National School of Art in Havana, he has studied under world-renowned teachers from Cuba, Argentina and Spain, dancing the roles of Escamillo in "Carmen," Sigfrid in "Swan Lake," Sugar Plum Cavalier in "The Nutcracker" and Birbanto in "Le Corsaire." He taught in Chihuahua and Coahila, Mexico before joining the El Paso Ballet Theatre (EPBT), where he taught for 4 years.
"I knew of Ruidoso only as a tourist place. It wasn't until Marta (Katz, Executive and Artistic Director of EPBT) told me of Dalí Ballet company. I saw a performance and was amazed by its talent and professionalism."
Miller taught part-time at Dalí for nearly a year, commuting from El Paso while still with EPBT, until he decided Ruidoso's students were his future.
"Dalí Ballet Company is very fortunate to have found Yespari Miller. His high energy and caring personality bring new energy and excitement to our studio. Mr. Miller is a very sought after teacher who will take our studio to the next level. We will miss Ms. Deborah. We appreciate everything she has taught our children and how her kind heart touched us all. We will miss Bob's wisdom behind the scenes. We wish both of them the best of luck in their new ventures," said J'Lane Zamora, incoming President of the Board of Directors of Dalí Ballet.