Ms. Ruiz of Mexican – Puerto Rican descent was born in Chicago. Her formal dance training in classical ballet and Spanish dance began with Dame Libby Komaiko in 1979 at NEIU where she earned her BA. She has also studied with important Spanish dancers/choreographers such as Maria Alba, Edo, Paco Alonso, Juanjo Linares, Roberto Lorca, Timo Lozano, Manolete, Carmela Greco, ballet with Anna Czajun, and Juan Mata & Ana González of the National Ballet of Spain. In Spain she has studied with Cristian Almodovar, Aida Gomez, Rafaela Carrasco, Belen Maya, La China, El Guito, Paco Romero and Candela Soto to name a few. As First Dancer of the EESDT she performs annually both nationally and internationally in the company’s major Flamenco dramas and classical ballet’s. She has also contributed to the company’s repertoire as choreographer and received numerous awards including the Viva Latina Dance Master Award from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Artistic Ambassador Award from the Ruth Page Foundation and NEIU along with the NEIU Excellence Fine Arts award. Ms. Ruiz was also honored with the Twentieth Anniversary Award from the St. Louis Cultural Flamenco Society and the Ensemble Español’s first ambassador award for her twenty nine years of extraordinary contributions to the company and center.