Ballet ~ Contemporary
YAGP Outstanding Teacher Award Winner 2020
Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Raul Salamanca brings over 25 years of professional dance and teaching experience to the beautiful city of San Diego. He started his dance training at the age of 13 at the acclaimed Magda Aunon School of Classical Ballet, where he graduated with honors after completing their program based on the world-renowned Cuban National Ballet School curriculum. He later went on to supplement his training on full scholarships with the Arizona Ballet School and the Boston Ballet School. Throughout his training, he worked closely with many distinguished teachers such as Laura Alonso, Ib Andersen, Sergei Berezhnoi, Devon Carney, Frank Galvez, Kee Juan Han, Magaly Suarez, and Tatiana Terekhova, gaining a wide array of knowledge and exposure in the Balanchine, Bournonville, Cecchetti, Cuban, and Vaganova methods of ballet. As a student, Mr. Salamanca was an award recipient of the National Society of Arts and Letters and the National Foundation for Advancement of the Arts. He was twice selected to be a representative for the United States at the prestigious International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi in 1998 and 2002.
Mr. Salamanca launched his professional career at the age of 17 with Ballet Arizona and later went on to dance with Boston Ballet, Les Grand Ballets Canadiens de Montreal, and Ballet San Antonio. As a professional dancer he performed Principal and Soloist roles in well-known classical ballets such as La Bayadere, Le Corsaire, La Fille Mal Gardee, Don Quixote, Giselle, The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and La Sylphide. He originated roles in ballets by Ib Andersen, Stijn Celis, Lucinda Childs, Jorma Elo, Mark Morris, Mikko Nissinen, Moses Pendleton, Helen Pickett, and Dwight Rhoden. He has also performed in a wide range of works by neoclassical and contemporary masters such as Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, John Cranko, David Dawson, Nacho Duato, Mats Ek, William Forsythe, Jiri Kylian, Ohad Naharin, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Anthony Tudor, and Christopher Wheeldon. Mr. Salamanca’s performing career has taken him extensively all over the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Africa. He has also been invited as a guest artist to perform alongside some of the brightest stars in the ballet world in galas such as the “Gala of International Ballet Stars” and Youth American Grand Prix Gala “Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow.”
In 2012, Mr. Salamanca became Ballet Master and Director of Education for Ballet San Antonio, where he co-choreographed and consulted in the creation of the company's The Nutcracker and spearheaded an outreach program with the Boys & Girls Club of San Antonio. In that same year, he became the sole stager in the United States for Boston Ballet Resident Choreographer, Jorma Elo. His collaborations with Elo have taken him to prominent companies and schools around the world such as Tulsa Ballet in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Beijing Dance Academy in Beijing, China.
In 2013, Mr. Salamanca joined the faculty of Silicon Valley's Los Gatos Ballet, becoming Associate Director in 2015 and Artistic Director in 2017. During his tenure there, he helped earn the titles of “Best Dance Company” by Metro Silicon Valley and “Best Non-Profit of the Year” by the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce by expanding and defining the school’s programs, reinvigorating its productions, and expanding their presence in the community. Through the Leaps and Bounds outreach program at Los Gatos Ballet, Mr. Salamanca shared his passion for dance through education and mentoring in the Bay Area by establishing an outreach program for second graders at local elementary schools, which received much acclaim. Due to its success, the program has been expanded and has begun to receive its own funding.
Mr. Salamanca's students have been accepted into many prestigious ballet schools around the country including Boston Ballet School, American Ballet Theatre, School of American Ballet, San Francisco Ballet School, Houston Ballet School, Joffrey Ballet School, and Ballet West, to name a few. As a choreographer, he has created over a dozen original solo and group contemporary pieces and a full-length classical ballet, Alice in Wonderland. His wide array of teaching credits include the Boston Ballet School, Kansas City Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Ballet San Antonio, Bay Pointe Ballet, Western Ballet, and the Academy of Classical Ballet. He has also collaborated and consulted with various performing arts organizations, such as the Silicon Valley Ballet and the West Valley College Dance Department.
Golden State Ballet & Pilates represents his commitment to providing quality arts education to the community and serves as a platform to share his passion and love of dance for generations to come.