Staff & Teacher Bios
Silvino da Silva
Acting Executive Director
With over 35 years of strategic planning, fundraising, public relations and arts marketing experience, Acting Executive Director Silvino da Silva is responsible for overseeing the administration, programs and strategic plan of The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, the well-respected and nationally recognized center for dance in Chicago. Among Mr. da Silva’s leadership duties is to energize and engage volunteers, partners, and funders. Prior to his position as Acting Executive Director in 2021, he was The Center’s Director of Marketing and Communications (2000-2021), guiding and promoting the organization’s unique combination of artistic programs that impact over 40,000 children and adults annually. As Director of Marketing and Communications, Mr. da Silva was also responsible for meeting all fundraising, development and special event financial goals. Founded by Chicago icon and internationally-renown performer, choreographer and dance patron, Ruth Page, The Center reflects her vision of supporting dance excellence in Chicago. As a prominent force in the Chicago arts community, The Ruth Page Center for the Arts continues that legacy through its initiatives and programs that nurture the art form of dance and by serving as an arts incubator for emerging and established artists and organizations.
Originally from San Jose, California, he moved to Chicago in 1984 to complete his B.A in Business Economics at DePaul University. His deep passion for the arts, specifically dance, began with his first job as Executive Assistant and then Marketing Director with Hubbard Street Dance Company (now Hubbard Street Dance Chicago). After leaving Hubbard Street, Mr. da Silva went on to provide public relations strategy for National Radio Theater, the non-profit independent producer of radio plays, and then as Director of Marketing for Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theater. From 1992-1996, he lived and worked as a marketing and graphic design consultant in the US Virgin Islands. Among his USVI clients was Calparrio International Travels, the Caribbean’s largest travel and tour operator at that time with an operating budget of fifteen million dollars.
Upon his return to Chicago, Mr. da Silva founded Ideas Without Boundaries, Inc, a consulting firm specializing in public relations and marketing for the non-profit sector, working with such notable organizations as Melissa Thodos & Dancers (now Thodos Dance Chicago), Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Northlight Theatre, Rivendell Theater Ensemble, Carol Fox & Associates, and Dance for Life/Chicago Dancers United to name just a few. In 1999 Mr. da Silva was hired as a consultant by The Ruth Page Foundation to design and market a yearlong series of events celebrating Ruth Page’s Centennial. With the success of that project, he was invited to promote and market the Foundation’s many activities in the role of Director of Marketing.
In addition to his work in the non-profit sector, he has worked extensively in retail advertising, providing public relations strategy and coordinating projects for such retailers as Montgomery Ward & Company, Bloomingdales, Woodfield Shopping Center, Randhurst Shopping Center, and Olivia Newton-John’s Koala Blue Boutiques. He has also worked extensively with industry leader, Live Marketing – who works at the intersection of live + virtual, engaging, educating, and exciting audiences wherever they met to drive results – in the creation of marketing and promotional materials for their worldwide tradeshows.
Larry Long (1936-2009)
Founder, Ruth Page School of Dance
Larry Long was born October 30, 1936 in Des Moines, Iowa, but spent his formative years in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Long was recognized as one of the preeminent ballet teachers in America. Mikhail Baryshnikov in an article in the New York Times named Mr. Long as one of six ballet teachers in America who have distinguished themselves as the best in developing students into professional dancers.
Mr. Long began his training with Alexandra Baldina, an illustrious Leningrad ballerina. His first professional performance was with Alicia Alonso in a production of Coppelia. He came to Chicago in 1958 beginning his long association with Ruth Page's Chicago Opera Ballet at the Lyric Opera, and later Ms. Page's International Ballet Company. After becoming a principal dancer with Ms. Page's International Ballet Company, he was appointed Ballet Master, a position he later held with the National Ballet of Washington, D.C. and the Harkness Ballet of New York. In 1973, he was co-founder and director with Ruth Page of the Chicago Ballet. Three years later, Mr. Long became Artistic Director of the Ballet International in London. Mr. Long was the long time (1965-1997) director of the Chicago Tribune Charities' production of The Nutcracker ballet that ran in Chicago for 31 years. Mr. Long and his wife, Dolores, co-founded the Civic Ballet of Chicago (now the Ruth Page Civic Ballet), the youth training company of the Ruth Page School of Dance, in 1998 in order to continue to develop serious young dancers with advanced training and performance experience as a prelude to a professional career in ballet. In 1989, he received the Ruth Page Award for "lifetime service to the field of dance." In 2006, the city of Chicago honored Larry and Dolores Long with a commendation for their contributions to the Arts in Chicago.
Mr. Long died August 22, 2009. He will be remembered for his enthusiasm and tremendous energy; a motivational force in the lives of his family friends and dancers everywhere.
Director, Ruth Page School of Dance and Ruth Page Civic Ballet Training Company
Victor Alexander joined the artistic and administrative team of the Ruth Page Center for the Arts in the summer of 2013. As both the Director of the Ruth Page School of Dance and of the Ruth Page Civic Ballet, he continues a nearly 50-year tradition of exceptional training and mentoring of the next generation of the nation’s best young dancers. Through the development of international partnerships and networks, Alexander has also expanded the School’s reach with important collaborations and exchanges with other leading dance institutions through the development of the Ruth Page School of Dance's International Sister Schools program. Significant among these is the historic relationship with Cuba’s National School of Ballet (Escuela Nacional de Ballet) begun in 2015, and the placement of a Ruth Page School of Dance student, Catherine Conley, in the prestigious Cuban training program – the first American student to be invited since the normalization of relations between the two countries. She consequently was invited to dance with the National Ballet School of Cuba, another first for an American ballerina.
Our International Sister School partners include: Escuela Nacional de Ballet de Cuba (Havana, Cuba since 2015);
Profesion Dance & Mandala Dance Company (Rome, Italy since 2015); Conservatorio Profesional de Danza A Coruña (Coruña, Spain since 2016); Ironi Aleph High School of Arts (Tel Aviv, Israel since 2016); Escuela Superior de Música y Danza de Monterrey (Monterrey, Mexico since 2018); Instituto Colubiano de Ballet Clásico (IncolBallet) (Cali, Colombia since 2018).
Alexander’s keen insight, experience and a dedication to the craft come from an international dancing, choreographic and teaching career. A native of Pinar del Rio, Cuba, he was trained at the prestigious Escuela Nacional de Arte (ENA) in Havana, graduating in 1992 with a degree in Modern and Cuban folkloric dance. As a student, his exceptional talents were recognized in 1992 when he won first place for dance in the 4th National Union of Writers and Artists in Havana. He went on to be a principal dancer for the prominent Danza Contemporánea de Cuba from 1992 to 2002, where both his technical talent and expressive dance style gained national prominence. Alexander has studied with distinguished teachers such as Donald McKayle, Chuck Davis, and Jeffrey Bullock and has performed throughout Europe, Asia, the Caribbean and the United States. Since relocating from Cuba to Chicago in 2002, Alexander has performed with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Hedwig Dances, CDI/Concert Dance Inc, and Luna Negra Dance Theater. While with CDI, Alexander was a featured artist in the 2008 Emmy Award-nominated production of the re-envisioned Ruth Page’s Billy Sunday on PBS. While with Hedwig, Alexander was a dance artist in the 2016 Emmy-nominated film Arch of Repose.
His teaching experience is extensive, encompassing local, national and international dance institutions. Of particular importance to Alexander is teaching in outreach programs that bring dance to youth. Recent outreach programs include Dance Art (2007–2010) and the Elementary Dance Scholarship Program (2010–2011) within the Chicago Public Schools. Included in Dance Magazine’s prestigious “25 to Watch in 2013” list, Alexander is known for his riveting stage presence as he mixes formidable technique he gained in the rigorous training ground of Cuban dance schools with facility at theatrical interpretation. In 2012, he was one of four choreographers selected for the Lab Artists Program, a one-year program of the Chicago Dancemakers Forum that focuses on the development of new choreography. In addition to the Chicago Dancemakers Forum grant, he has also received a fellowship from the Illinois Arts Council for his work, Line of Sighs and was selected as one of the 2013 Novel Affair Artists selected by The Ragdale Curatorial Board. In December of 2013, Line of Sighs was highlighted in the Chicago Tribune’s “Top 10 Best Dance Performances of 2013.”
Recently Alexander was one of the choreographers chosen to participate in Chicago’s Afro-Latino Festival 2014 with his work Among us. Additionally in 2014, he was selected to participate in Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s choreographic initiative, The International Commissioning Project, which provides residencies to choreographers, offering them the opportunity to create original works for HS2’s dancers and to conduct master classes.