The Ballerina - Alicia Alonson Oil on Board 17.5 x 28
Source; Errol McKinson's studio
Alonso was born in Havana, one of two daughters of an army officer and his wife. The family was financially comfortable and lived in a fashionable section of the then-vibrant capital. Alonso revealed at a very early age an affinity for music and dance - her mother could occupy her happily for long periods with just a phonograph, a scarf, and some records. She started dancing at the age of seven and at the age of eight, she studied ballet at Sociedad Pro-Arte Musical in Havana with Sophie Fedorova. A year later she performed publicly for the first time in Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty. She originally danced in Cuba under the name of Alicia Martínez.
Rapid progress in her lessons came to an abrupt halt in 1937, when the teenager fell in love with a fellow ballet student, Fernando Alonso, whom she married. After her marriage, she changed her surname to Alonso. The new couple moved to New York City, hoping to begin their professional careers. There they found a home with relatives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, near Riverside Drive. Alonso gave birth to a daughter, Laura, but managed to continue her training at the School of American Ballet and took private classes. She arranged to travel to London to study with Vera Volkova. Meanwhile, her husband had joined the new Mordkin Ballet Company in New York