After retiring from Joffrey Ballet in 2014 Yumelia Garcia has not let the grass grow under her feet. While she is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she also continues to make guest performances around the country from Florida to Alaska. In 2015 Gordon Pierce Schmidt created the ballet Day of the Gypsy on Ms. Garcia. It was performed at the Harris Theater in Chicago, and was among the Chicago Tribune’s best performances in 2015. She has been the guest principal dancer for the Jacksonville Symphony in Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker and is slated to perform Cinderella next April. She has recently worked in New York with the Kathryn Posin Dance Company collaborating with Meredith Monk in a commissioned ballet for the Harkness Dance Festival in Manhattan. She also is part of Joffrey Ballet’s teaching workshop in San Antonio, TX and teaches and coaches for a number of schools from Buffalo, NY to Los Angeles, CA.
Ms. Garcia was born in Caracas, Venezuela, where she received her professional training at the Escuela de Ballet Gustavo Franklin (Vaganova school). Upon graduating with honors, Vicente Nebrada invited her to join the National Ballet of Caracas at the tender age of 15, and promoted her to soloist one year later. Ms. Garcia began her U.S. career with Heinz Pohl at Ohio Ballet. She then joined the Milwaukee Ballet, performing as a principal dancer. While in Milwaukee, in addition to having Kathryn Posin's Scheherazade created for her, Ms. Garcia performed many classical roles, including Kitri in Don Quijote, Giselle, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, and Carmen. She later moved on to Ballet Florida, where she was featured in contemporary and classical works, most recently as Cleopatra, by Ben Stevenson. In 2009, Ms. Garcia was invited by Ashley Wheater to join the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, where she hit the stage to critical acclaim in roles such as Valencienne in The Merry Widow and the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. Her performance in Ashton’s Cinderella was featured in Pointe Magazine as one of the “Best Performances of the Year 2010.”
Yumelia Garcia's remarkable versatility, technical prowess, and intensity have given her extensive experience in works by Alonzo King, Choo San Goh, David Parsons, Jean Paul Comelin, Mark Godden, George Balanchine, Trey McIntyre, Jimmy Gamonet, Christopher Wheeldon, Lar Lubovitch, Jiri Kylian, William Forsythe, Wayne McGregor and Robert Joffrey.