Guillermo Leyva trained at the Professional School of Arts in Camaguey, Cuba. After graduating he began dancing professionally at the Ballet de Camaguey under Fernando Alonso direction. He joined this company for 11 years as a principal dancer where he danced several classic roles. Later he danced for 3 years with the Ballet de Monterrey in Mexico, under the direction of Ann Marie D’ Angelo, Fernando Alonso, and Fernando Bujones. He also danced as a principal dancer with Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Lexington Ballet, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Illinois Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Ballet de Santiago, Chile and Ballet Royal de Wallonie in Belgium. Guillermo has also worked with renowned choreographers, Alberto Alonso, Frederick Franklin and while at Joffrey he danced under the direction of Alonso King and Randy Duncan. He is co-artistic director of Alma Dance Theater, NFP.
Guillermo has coached students for The Youth America Grand Prix Regionals and Finals resulting in his students placing and winning in both the junior and senior divisions. He was awarded Outstanding Teacher in 2014 at the Youth America Grand Prix Indianapolis Regional and in 2019 at the Chicago Semi-Finals.
Guillermo was born in a very poor and dangerous place and his parents decided to send him to Art School in order to obtain a better education and future. Guillermo will be always grateful for what his parents did because it made him who he is today.
Guillermo’s dream as a child was to direct his own classical ballet company and to be a successful choreographer. He also dreamed of having his own Art Ballet School to help children from low-income areas to get out of the streets and become professional dancers. One of his goals is to keep passing on to his students all of his knowledge and experience, which he has always done with deep love.
“Nothing inspires me more than seeing a student come to life as they finally master a move and perform it with confidence.” – Guillermo Leyva