- Associated Press - Monday, June 9, 2014

MIAMI (AP) - Six dancers with the Cuban National Ballet have arrived in Miami after fleeing while on tour.

Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami director Pedro Pablo Pena says the dancers arrived from Puerto Rico over the weekend.

Pena says he spoke with four of the dancers Sunday and pledged to support them and offer an artistic space while they determine their next steps.

Despite the Cuban National Ballet’s prestige, dancers routinely defect while on international tour. The first dancers defected in 1966 in Paris, citing political reasons. More recently dancers say they have left also for economic and artistic motives. Cuban ballet dancers earn on average no more than $30 a month.

Pena himself is an exiled Cuban dancer and has taken in numerous ballerinas throughout the years.

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