Ballet has shaped Elisa Carrillo’s life. She’s the first Latin American dancer to claim three of the most prestigious international dance awards: Danse’s Prix Benois, Russia’s Soul of Dance, and St. Petersburg’s Festival Dance Open. Today, her mission is crystal clear: inspire the younger generation to embrace the art of dance and celebrate the cultural richness of her native country, Mexico, as its cultural ambassador.
“Dance transformed me into who I am today; it guided me and became my life. Nothing has ever come easy to me. But somehow, I made it,” she expressed some time ago to the Spanish newspaper El País.
Elisa was a young girl when her mother enrolled her in dance classes, hoping to instill grace and elegance in her movements. Little did they know that this choice would have a lifelong impact. Elisa displayed a remarkable natural talent, propelling her to join the National Institute of Fine Arts dance school at the age of seven. Before her sixteenth birthday, through her discipline and dedication, she earned a scholarship to attend The English National Ballet School in the United Kingdom.
Leaving her home at such a young age to enrolled at the English National Ballet School was not easy, but it was undoubtedly worth it. Over the years, her journey led her to become a soloist at the Stuttgart Ballet. By 2007, she had become a prominent figure at the renowned Staatsballet Berlin, where she rose to become a prima ballerina. Notably, in 2009, she captivated German critics with her portrayal of a brunette Snow White in a choreography by Angelin Preijocal. Beyond her extensive repertoire as a dancer, she has also taken on the role of an instructor, teaching ballet classes in Mexico, the United States, Germany, and Canada.
Through the foundation she founded, Elisa has dedicated herself to promoting dance and the arts in Mexico. Her initiative, the ‘Gala de Estrellas de Ballet Elisa y Amigos,’ has successfully brought together some of the most accomplished classical ballet artists. She is also a driving force behind the International Danzatlán Festival. Her remarkable achievements have earned her the distinguished title of Ambassador for Mexican World Heritage Cities, and she is a member of the UNESCO International Dance Committee and co-director of the National Dance Company in Mexico.