I am very grateful to have had Mariaelena as a mentor and a coach during my years as a student. Mariaelena challenged my physical strength as well as my mental quickness, and provided a loving and encouraging atmosphere, which allowed me to strive for my best.
Derek Dunn, former student – Currently with Boston Ballet
Mariaelena Ruiz was not only one of the best teachers I ever had but also a great mentor. She helped me excel in life, not only in ballet. She made me realize my potential and did not let me rely on what I had but made me work on what I didn’t. I will forever be grateful to Mariaelena and everything she has done for me.
Beckanne Sisk, former student – Currently with Ballet West
Mariaelena has been a big influence in my dance education but also in a big part of being confident with myself. The first time I saw her was when I was 5 or 6 years old and she was taking class in one of the studios at Rock School. I thought she was so effortless and hoped that I would one day dance like her. I remember a few big moments that she influenced me on not giving up on my dream. The first time was when I was 8 years old. I didn’t feel like I fit in in my class, every girl next to me seemed to be getting more attention but Mariaelena wouldn’t let me give up. Another time was when I was 14 or 15 and she was my coach for YAGP and she showed me what I couldn’t see that I could become. I’ve always thought she was a beautiful dancer and I’m grateful that I got the opportunity to work with such an incredible artist and mentor.
Michaela DePrince, former student – Currently with Dutch National Ballet
Mariaelena Ruiz is a world-class ballet teacher. She cares deeply for the success and well-being of her students and is driven everyday to better the art-form of ballet. While working along side her, I learned the value of learning by doing. Many teachers stop students to discuss a correction, which often leaves dancers cold and unenthusiastic. Mariaelena’s class is hard, fast paced and focuses on repetition. This type of training is essential for aspiring professional dancers because receiving corrections while in a particular movement is a great way for dancers to intellectually understand and feel when a movement needs adjustments. She is one of the best ballet teachers out there and I am so honored to call her a friend and personal mentor.
Ashlee Stewart – Director of Rye Ballet Conservatory and former dancer with New York City Ballet.
We have such deep admiration and love for you. Never forget how beloved you are. The ballet world is very, very small, and you have an incredibly stellar reputation for believing in your talented students and bringing out the best in them. More than they or their parents ever knew was possible.
Jill Comport, former Professional Ballerina
Best of luck with the kids. Keep them encouraged! Your love lasts years. We all love you so much and you’ve made such a difference in our lives.
Peter Kurta, former student – Currently with Smuin Ballet
Thank you to the Cary Ballet Conservatory and Mariaelena RUIZ for changing my life! I owe them the person and dancer I've become; they are my family. The love and dedication offered during training is like no other. Anyone with the goal of becoming a professional ballet dancer, should be lucky enough to train with the best.
Joaquin Gaubeca, former student – Currently with John Cranko Schule, Stuttgart Ballet
Thank you so much Mariaelena Ruiz!!! Your training and coaching have been nothing short of inspiring. Being able to train with you is such privilege. Thank you!
Greg Goessner, former student. Currently with Indianapolis Ballet
Mariaelena is a fiercely dedicated teacher. Ballet is better because of her.
Thanks Mariaelena!!!! I can never thank you enough for all that you did for me. You are a beautiful person and a great blessing to the dance world. Love you!
Jake Case, former student and professional dancer
I have known Mariaelena Ruiz since I first became a career coach to the ballet world. She was the first person I worked with in the world of professional ballet and 18 years later she remains one of my dearest friends. There are few people I know who share Mariaelena’s passion for teaching, her dedication to excellence and her caring and innate nurturing personality. She knows how to support and encourage young dancers to be their very best. I couldn’t speak more highly of this supremely talented artist that I am honoured to call my dear friend. If you have the opportunity to work with and learn from this consummate professional, run... don’t walk. She is worth it!
We have such deep admiration and love for you. Never forget how beloved you are. The ballet world is very, very small, and you have an incredibly stellar reputation for believing in your talented students and bringing out the best in them, more than they or their parents ever knew was possible.
Mariaelena Ruiz, I truly believe things don’t happen by accident and everything is in God’s timing. It was truly a blessing when you decided to lead Cary Ballet Conservatory's Professional Training Program three years ago when we were searching for just the perfect training program. We were looking for a program that was small enough to allow her to get lots of one-on-one professional attention and hands on training from someone who had years of knowledge and experience. After the first year, we knew she was in the perfect hands and have never had any regrets about our decision to move to Cary, NC. Now it's our home and CBC is like our second family. Thank you for everything!
I am so proud of you for all that you have accomplished! You see the greatest potential and have your students best interests, they are fortunate to have you mentoring them. You are not willing to settle and will work tirelessly for this. I know the blood, sweat and tears it takes and you handle this with grace and consideration of everyone. I love working with you and I'm so happy to have a friend that comes from such a similar place of purpose and commitment.
You have touched and moulded so many lives Mariaelena! Even though Lydia is no longer dancing, your print was made upon her and we are so grateful for every life lesson you taught her....hard work, never quit, don't be defeated by failure, be true to yourself, don't let others define you... and so many others. Love you and miss you!!
The more we work, the bigger the reward. When people like Mariaelena Ruiz bring that work ethic to the professional world, there is no stopping them.
Karen Hildebran, Editor in Chief – Dance Teacher Magazine
You knew regardless of how hard Mariaelena pushed you that there was love under every correction.
When mind and body dance in harmony, performance is not just that day, or that show, but a representation of how one lives their life. This is Mariaelena’s approach to teaching
I never felt like I was at a loss for things to work on. She came into the studio each and every day with new ways to challenge me or to approach my growth as an artist.
Cooper Everson – Former Student – Currently, BalletMet 2
The training and amazing men's program that Mariaelena Ruiz created at Cary Ballet Conservatory, was lifechanging for me. Mariaelena's passion and dedication is what helps us grow as students and become the professional dancers we always dreamt of being.
Francisco Schilereff, Former Student – Currently, Miami City Ballet