Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: Paul Anthony Samuelson (1915– ) Biography to Bessie Smith (1895–1937) Biography » Lupe Serrano: 1930—: Ballerina Biography - Born With Desire To Dance, Leapt From Mexico To New York, Danced With Nureyev, Turned Talent Toward Teaching

Lupe Serrano: 1930—: Ballerina - Turned Talent Toward Teaching

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In 1971, after nearly three decades onstage, Serrano decided to take her final bow and retire as a dancer. She was 40. At about the same time Serrano and Schermerhorn divorced. Though her family in Mexico begged her to return home, Serrano remained in the United States where she turned her formidable talents to teaching full time. Her first position was with the National Academy of Arts in Illinois. When the company closed in 1974, she joined the faculty of the Pennsylvania Ballet School where she also oversaw the apprenticeship program. From 1974 to 1983 Serrano also served as director of the school. Meanwhile she kept up a busy schedule of master classes for dance companies across the world including the San Francisco Ballet, the Minnesota Dance Theatre, the Cleveland Ballet, the Washington Ballet, the Cincinnati Ballet, the Rome Opera Ballet, and the National Ballet of Mexico. She also became a sought-after judge on the international ballet competition circuit. In 1988 Serrano became the artistic associate for the Washington Ballet. Her duties included coaching the company, the apprentices, and the advanced students. In 1997 she began to give classes at Juilliard, the famed New York City school for the arts. By 2003, inching into her seventies, she was still giving classes worldwide, including a series of studio workshops with her beloved American Ballet Theatre.

Serrano's fifty-year love affair with ballet has left an unforgettable mark on the art—from the hundreds of dancers who have learned to jump higher, twirl more gracefully, and dance better under her watchful eye to the thousands of fans who have swooned to her own graceful moves across the stage. As Linda Urdapilleta, a Mexican ballerina told Noticias del día, "Only a person like Serrano could scale the steps she's had to face and arrive at a company like the American Ballet Theater. Those that had the privilege of seeing her dance will never forget it. We will always be proud of her."



Dictionary of Hispanic Biography, Gale Research, 1996.


Rocky Mountain News,Denver, CO, September 20, 1997, p. 65A.


"Clase Magistral con Lupe Serrano en el Teatro de la Danza," Noticias del día, www.conaculta.gob.mx/saladeprensa/2002/19mar/serrano.htm (May 23, 2003).

"Los Bailarines de Hoy Mantienen una Técnica Más Depurada," Noticias del día, www.conaculta.gob. mx/saladeprensa/2002/25mar/serrano.htm (May 23, 2003).

"Lupe Serrano," Biography Resource Center, www. galenet.com/servlet/BioRC (July 7, 2003).

—Candace LaBalle

[back] Lupe Serrano: 1930—: Ballerina - Danced With Nureyev

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