Original Joffrey and Harkness Dancer, Brunilda Ruiz, Dies at 83

BroadwayWorld is sad to report that Brunilda Ruiz has died at age 83 of cancer. She is survived by her husband, two daughters, brother and two sisters, four grandchildren and a great-grandson.

The New York Times reported that "A student of Robert Joffrey, she was celebrated for her classical form and dramatic presence and viewed as a role model by other Hispanic ballet dancers."

"Brunilda Ruiz was born on June 1, 1936, in Rincón, Puerto Rico, to Maria Francisca Perez De Rivera, a homemaker, and Eusebio Ruiz De Sanchez, a restaurant worker. Two of their nine children had died, making Brunie, as she was called, the youngest. Her father traveled back and forth to work on the mainland and from 1934 to 1936 moved his children over, a few at a time."

Ruiz retired from performing in 1971. She still was involved in dance however as a mentor and teacher.

Here you can see her discuss her visit to the White House.

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