Colorado Ballet Principal Dancers Dana Benton and Yosvani Ramos to Retire in April 2023
Denver, CO (September 16, 2022) – Principal Dancers Dana Benton and Yosvani Ramos will take their final bows at the conclusion of Colorado Ballet’s 2022/2023 Season. Dana will retire after a 22-year career with the Company and nine seasons as a Principal Dancer. Yosvani, who joined Colorado Ballet in 2015 as a Principal Dancer, celebrates 26 years as a professional dancer and will retire after eight seasons with Colorado Ballet.
“This is a very bittersweet moment for our organization,” stated Artistic Director Gil Boggs. “We will greatly miss Dana and Yosvani and the virtuosic artistry they bring to the stage as Principal Dancers with the Company, each of them made us better in their own way. Their long and illustrious careers are truly inspiring, and I know that they will both continue to do incredible work as they move into this next chapter of their lives.”
Dana and Yosvani will perform in all five productions at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House this season, beginning with Michael Pink’s Dracula in October. Dana plans to celebrate her career next March during Colorado Ballet’s production of Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella, and will continue to dance with the Company through the conclusion of the 2022/2023 Season. Yosvani will celebrate his career with his debut as the Prodigal Son in George Balanchine’s masterpiece of the same name, which the Company will perform as part of Ballet MasterWorks in April 2023.
Throughout the 2022/2023 Season, Colorado Ballet will release a special video series for Dana and Yosvani, commemorating and honoring their robust careers as professional dancers.
Watch Principal Dana Benton | Retirement Announcement | Looking Back
Watch Principal Yosvani Ramos | Retirement Announcement | International Career
Colorado Ballet wishes Dana and Yosvani all the best on their next adventures and thanks them for sharing their phenomenal artistry and heartfelt love for this art form with Colorado audiences over the years.
Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Dana donned her first pair of ballet slippers at the age of three. Dance quickly became her passion, and her unwavering dedication to her craft guided her through years of rigorous training at the National Ballet School in Toronto, ultimately leading her to a year-long apprenticeship with Alberta Ballet in 2000. In 2001, Dana joined Colorado Ballet as a member of the Corps de Ballet and has called the Company home ever since. She was promoted to Soloist in 2007 and became a Principal Dancer in 2014. At the conclusion of her 22nd season this spring, Dana’s role will transition from Principal Dancer to Principal of Colorado Ballet Academy, where she will continue to share her expertise and love of ballet with aspiring young dancers.
“I am so grateful that Colorado Ballet has been my home for the last 22 years,” stated Dana Benton. “The onstage and offstage experiences are memories that will never leave me. Colorado Ballet is such a family and I'm so honored to have been able to share the stage with all my coworkers throughout the years. I have grown up here, and I have learned so much about myself and this art form from our artistic staff and my fellow dancers. I am so thankful for my family, friends, artistic staff, and audience members who have supported me during my career. I am really looking forward to sharing my knowledge with the students of the Colorado Ballet Academy in my next chapter.”
Originally from Camagüey, Cuba, Yosvani’s distinguished 26-year career as a professional dancer has taken him all over the world—from Europe and Australia to the United States. In 1997, Yosvani moved from Cuba to France to dance with Jeune Ballet de France and Ballet de l'Opéra National de Paris, before joining English National Ballet in 1999 as a Soloist. During his nine years with English National Ballet, Yosvani rose through the ranks of the company and was promoted Principal Dancer in 2003. His passion for ballet and exceptional artistry led him to The Australian Ballet in 2008, where he served as Principal Artist until 2013. Yosvani joined Cincinnati Ballet as Principal Dancer in 2014 before becoming a Principal Dancer with Colorado Ballet the following year, where he will celebrate eight beautiful seasons with the Company.
“After a 26-year professional career, twenty of which were as a Principal Dancer, I have decided to retire at the end of this season,” stated Yosvani Ramos. “I’ve been so lucky to have danced with some of the biggest ballet companies in the world, and I couldn’t be more proud to finish my dancing career with Colorado Ballet, my home for the past eight seasons. I’m so satisfied and happy with all that I’ve achieved, and I am ready to continue to pass all that I’ve learned to the future generations of dancers. I will savor and enjoy every moment of this final season.”
ABOUT COLORADO BALLET
Presenting exceptional classical ballet and innovative contemporary dance through performances, training, education and community engagement, Colorado Ballet continues to inspire and grow an increasingly diverse audience base in Denver, Colorado. Established in 1961 by Lillian Covillo and Freidann Parker, Colorado Ballet is a non-profit organization celebrating 62 years of excellence. As a world-class professional company serving over 100,000 national and international patrons, Colorado Ballet presents 58 performances annually to sold-out audiences in the 2,000 seat Ellie Caulkins Opera House. The Company’s 35 professional dancers and 25 studio company dancers come from all over the world. Colorado Ballet’s The Armstrong Center for Dance, a 35,000 square foot building, boasts eight state-of-the-art professional dance studios and amenities for the professional Company. Under the direction of Artistic Director Gil Boggs, Colorado Ballet performs classical ballet masterpieces, full-length story ballets and its critically acclaimed repertory production Ballet MasterWorks, featuring varied works from neoclassical ballets to world premieres. The Raydean Acevedo Colorado Ballet Academy serves over 1,200 students from toddlers to seniors each year. Colorado Ballet’s Education & Community Engagement offers programs to students and community members, making over 25,000 contacts and reaching over 200 schools and organizations annually. Participants come from a variety of backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses including youth, families, teachers, and people with and without disabilities. For more information, please visit coloradoballet.org.