Staff and Board
Board of Directors
Leonard S. Kesten, Chair of the Board
Clolita M. Vitale
Advisory Board Members
Ramona De Saa
The Sarasota Cuban Ballet School, Inc.
Ariel Serrano - President, CEO, and Co-Artistic Director
Wilmian Hernandez - Vice President, COO, and Co-Artistic Director
Leonard S. Kesten - Secretary/Treasurer
Francesca MacBeth - Administrative Director
Magaly Hernandez - Administrative Assistant
Advisory Board Members
Dr. Ramona De Saa
Director and Professor at the National Ballet School of Cuba, she has brought international attention to Cuba’s ballet training methods. A founding dancer of the National Ballet of Cuba (1959), Maestra De Saa became one of the company’s most promising dancers before an injury led to her retirement in 1966. She subsequently pursued a career as a teacher, and many of her students have won international fame, among them Royal Ballet star Carlos Acosta. Her appointment holds particular meaning for Ariel Serrano, our director and founder, and strengthens the bond between SCBS and Maestra De Saa’s School in Havana. At age 10, Mr. Serrano was selected for the National Ballet School of Cuba, which provided the training needed to forge his professional career.
He joined The Royal Ballet in 1998 and was a Principal Guest Artist from 2003 to 2016. His many roles included Siegfried (Swan Lake), Albrecht (Giselle), The Prince (The Nutcracker) and Prince Florimund (The Sleeping Beauty). Mr. Acosta was born in Havana and trained at the National Ballet School of Cuba, going on to dance with the English National Ballet, the National Ballet of Cuba and the Houston Ballet. The culture and history of his home country have been important influences, and in 2003 his show Tocororo - A Cuban Tale, loosely based on his childhood, broke box office records at Sadler’s Wells Theatre. After leaving The Royal Ballet, he founded the dance company Acosta Danza in Cuba. He has received many awards throughout his career, including an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance in 2007, a Prix Benois de la Danse in 2008 and an Outstanding Achievement Award at the 2014 Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards. In 2014 Acosta was appointed a CBE for services to ballet.
He was born in Havana, Cuba, and studied classical ballet at the National Arts School and Methodology of Classical Dance and Pedagogy at Instituto Superior de Arte. Mr. Castellanos graduated from the National School of Dance in Havana and moved directly into the Cuban National Ballet, where he became First Dancer. He also danced with Ballet de Camagüey. After moving to Barcelona, Spain, Rodolfo taught at La Companyia and l’Institut del Teatre before relocating to the Royal Ballet School, where he is honing the skills of the second-year boys.