Román Baca is a classically trained ballet dancer and choreographer. He has danced for the New Mexico Ballet Company, Connecticut Ballet, the Nutmeg Ballet, Ballet Theatre Company, and others. He has taught ballet in NYC at Alvin Ailey, Peridance, and the United Nations, and has been the artistic director of two professional dance organisations.
In 2001, recognising his desire to defend the defenceless, he took a hiatus from dance and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, serving as a machine-gunner and fire-team leader in Fallujah, Iraq during the Iraq War.
After the war, Román returned to dance and co-founded Exit12 Dance Company, which tells veterans’ stories choreographically, to increase cross-cultural understanding and heal divisions. He has choreographed and championed dance works that explore the military veteran experience and the impact of war on civilians and families. He also leads workshops and lectures at schools, universities, organisations, and veteran’s centres to inspire critical conversations about war through the power of dance.
Román graduated from St. Mary’s College of California (BA Cum Laude Performing Arts) and was awarded a Fulbright to the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, UK where he completed his MFA with Merit in choreography. He is currently studying for his PhD in Dance at York St. John University.
He has also served as an Arts Envoy with the US State Department, a panelist reviewing US-UK Fulbright candidates and has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts Dance Panel 2020.
Román is the recipient of a 2020 scholarship to York St. John University, the 2019 Selma Jeanne Cohen Dance Lecture Award, a 2017-2018 US-UK Fulbright Postgraduate Award to the Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London, a 2018 HillVet Nominee, a 2015 New York State Veterans’ Hall of Fame Inductee, and a 2014 Art and Healing Network Awardee.