Cuban ballet defectors practice for performance in Miami

7 dancers who defected last weekend say they're seeking better opportunity

By Glenna Milberg - Reporter
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Defectors from the Cuban ballet practice with the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami.

MIAMI - Seven dancers from Cuba's prestigious national ballet company who defected during a performance in Puerto Rico last weekend are now in Miami and planning to perform.

The group rehearsed Tuesday with members of Miami's Cuban Classical Ballet for a scheduled Sunday performance.

All the defectors, who are younger than 25, said at a news conference that they came to the U.S. looking for better opportunities than the Cuban ballet can provide them.

"For the dancer, the career is short," Cuban Classic Ballet of Miami Director Pedro Pablo Pena said. "If you don't take the opportunity in the time you want to take the opportunity, you lost the opportunity."

Cuban nationals who make it to U.S. soil are granted automatic political asylum.

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