Defected Cuban dancers adjust to U.S., seek work

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By CHRISTINE ARMARIO, Associated Press

MIAMI (AP) — They practice in the back of a dance studio next to a Wendy's restaurant in a strip mall in Miami. Six ballet dancers leap across the floor, hidden from view from the mothers watching their daughters in pink leotards in a front room.

The dancers move in sets of two, their pointed toes and outstretched hands a hint of the grand stages where they have performed. In the background plays a recording of "La Bayadare," the French choreographed ballet they are practicing.

These dancers could be among the young talent of any ballet company, but for now they are something else: Immigrants in the United States trying to land dancing opportunities while navigating cultural differences. The ballerinas fled from the Cuban National Ballet while on tour in Mexico.

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