Raymond Rodriguez

Dean of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School

Raymond Rodriguez is the Dean of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School. He began his dance journey at the age of six, attended the High School of Performing Arts in Manhattan and trained in classical ballet at the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) School on a full scholarship. Rodriguez later joined ABT as an apprentice before joining the Cleveland Ballet (Ballet San Jose), where he became a principal dancer and later took on the roles of rehearsal assistant, répétiteur, regisseur, principal ballet master, associate artistic director and managing director.

In 2016, Rodriguez relocated to Chicago to join the Joffrey Ballet as Head of the Studio Company and Ballet Trainee Program.  In 2019 he was promoted to Academy Director.  Under his leadership, the Joffrey Academy of Dance enjoyed many accomplishments, including the expansion of new studio space and presence in the South Loop neighborhood, a newly created Contemporary Ballet Trainee Program, the launch of Rita Finds Home -a new family-friendly ballet and the creation of the BIPOC Academy Committee (BAC) to help parents and school leaders better support students of color. His tenure saw many Academy students promoted into the Joffrey Ballet Company and others who accepted contracts with ballet companies worldwide.

Throughout his career as a principal dancer, he performed many diverse and challenging roles and successfully staged numerous ballet productions worldwide. He has appeared in various films and television shows and he is a current judge and Master Teacher for the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP). Rodriguez also serves on the advisory board of the national dance publication Pointe Magazine and served as co-chair of Dance/USA’s school director’s affinity group.

Rodriguez is an ABT-certified teacher and an international guest instructor. In 2018, Rodriguez earned an MFA in Dance from Hollins University. He is the founding co-artistic director of Pointe of Departure, Cleveland’s classical ballet company. Some of the awards he has won include an Isadora Duncan Award (Izzie), Crain’s Chicago Business Notable LGBTQ Executive and the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture’s Outstanding Achievement in the Arts award.