Photo of an elderly man wearing dark, thick-rimmed glasses, pink button-down shirt, and plaid jacket.
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Story by Catherine Bays

Little Rock, AR

When my family moved to Little Rock in 1975, I had been studying classical ballet with a very disciplined teacher from the Royal Ballet. Knowing the importance of continued, serious training, my parents sought new teachers, Cater and Lorraine Cranford, and Manolo Agullo (pictured).

Manolo was unlike any teacher I had ever had before. From Cuba, a classical trained dancer, Manolo was also immersed in the techniques of the greats like Graham, Limon, and Luigi.

Manolo broadened our styles and approaches to dance, shaping us into better, stronger dancers. A passionate teacher, he pushed dancers to hear and move to the music, fill the space, and learn to be creative.

Manolo was also one of several teachers that showed me the possibilities of a career as a professional ballerina. I am forever grateful to Manolo Agullo and my time on the Arkansas Arts Center stage as a young dancer.

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