Evelyn Cisneros-Legate began dancing at eight years old. After seeing the Bolshoi Ballet perform Swan Lake with her family, she quickly fell in love with ballet and set focus on a career in dance. In 1975, she was accepted with a scholarship to SAB’s Summer Course, and in 1976 she was offered an apprenticeship with San Francisco Ballet.
While in the corps de ballet, Ms. Cisneros-Legate faced discrimination as a Hispanic dancer. She recalls being told to lighten her skin with makeup to ‘fit in’ with the other dancers. This experience motivated her to make her mark and rise in the company’s ranks, eventually achieving the position of principal dancer. Determined to stand out rather than fit in, Ms. Cisneros-Legate danced for 23 years with San Francisco Ballet, performing principal roles.Evelyn Cisneros made history for being the first Latina prima ballerina in the U.S. The Mexican American has played Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, The Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Theme and Variations, Cinderella, and many more.