NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – His family brought him to the United States in search of a better life. Now, an Española man is taking his parents’ dream to the next level by performing at the Kennedy Center, which is one of the most prestigious performing arts venues in the world.

His name is Hugo Pizano Orozco. “As a kid from Española, I don’t think I ever imagined myself being in these places at this time in my life.”

The story of Pizano is a story of the American dream, “I came to the U.S. before I was two. We came to the U.S., my family and I. We originally are from Guanajuato, Mexico.”

After moving from Mexico to Española, Pizano fell in love with dance while watching television with his family.

“Ever since I was little, I loved when we would be watching a telenovela, and there was a dance scene, I always thought it was so regal so beautiful.”

He attended the New Mexico School of Arts, but as college approached, his immigration status left his future uncertain.

“Come senior year, I didn’t know if I was going to have my DACA status or not. I didn’t know if I was going to go to college; I didn’t know if that was the end for me.”

It wasn’t until right before Pizano’s graduation, he learned his DACA status was granted. Not only that but he was also accepted to Juilliard, one of the most prestigious performing arts schools in the world.

“I think the audition started out with about 200 dancers; they cut us down to 10.”

It was during his time at Juilliard, he attended his first performance of a dance company called ‘Ballet Hispánico.’

“I was sitting next to my friend, and I said to my friend ‘I’m going to dance for them one day.’”

Pizano made good on that promise. He auditioned his senior year and was hired the very next day, and soon began touring with them. After graduating this past May, he is still on tour with Ballet Hispánico. Next month, they will be performing in the world-famous Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Pizano said he would not trade his challenges since they made him who he is today. He hopes he can inspire others who hear his story.


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“Don’t think because you are from a small town in New Mexico, you can’t go out there and do the thing you want to do.”

Pizano will be performing with Ballet Hispánico at the Kennedy Center from November 30 to December 3.