Elisabette Calero

Elisabette Calero (1)

High Priestess of Culture in Puerto Rico

Ep. 9 - Elisabette Calero came back to Puerto Rico, after a star-laden history as a dance prodigy in the States, because of her mother's illness. She stayed and during the course of her still-evolving career, spent time dodging gangs' bullets ricocheting against the walls of public housing community centers while providing safe harbor to the children, where they could study their homework and receive training in theater, sports, and dance. She is now called the High Priestess of Culture in Puerto Rico. Find out why!

Top Takeaways

• How to pursue school education and dancing at the same time.
• Having empathy to look beyond the glitz and glamour of the dancing world
• Having the inspiration to help underprivileged communities through art
• How to get music through an empathetic and compassionate language
• How to make young people’s life feel worthy by offering opportunities

Listen in to hear the inspiring dancing life of Elisabette that started when she was a teenager and spans through her teenage years and adulthood.

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"We use dance as an experiment with persons who have autism, to see if dance could help them have a better quality of life. Also to be generators of social values through our art. I was inspired to do that all my life and in everything I do."

Her pioneering approach included having a psychologist on staff to work with the parents and also the use of nutrition, Pilates, and yoga. Many went on to productive careers in dance companies, lawyers, doctors, ministers, athletes, and innovative psychotherapy. She is now choreographing performances about the hurricanes and their impacts on the lives of Puerto Ricans, advocating the conversion of vacant schoolhouses to provide housing for artists and performance spaces and the development of a museum of dance history of Puerto Rico.

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Listen to how she is changing Puerto Rico's culture.

Key Moments:

She describes her love for dancing ballet that started when she was 2 years old [2:38]
She narrates her school curriculum and how she fitted dancing in there plus her experience with ballet [4:50]
How she was in touch with communities and her experience with different cultures [19:35]
She narrates the journey that took her to fix social barriers with affordable public housing [24:10]
How to use dance to communicate the facts of education in the Puerto Rican community [28:26]
Why the affordable housing sector in Puerto Rico have to go through life restructuring work first [30:31]
She narrates the story of a young man they saved from being a possible drug dealer to a Christian pastor [33:57]
Learning to be responsible with what is going on and helping others as a young person today [35:05]

Jacob's Pillow Dance
Instagram Elisabette Calero
Elisabette Calero Pérez - YouTube