Leonard Cruz was born in Pampanga, the Philippines and grew up in San Antonio, Texas. He started dancing at the age of four learning Filipino and Hawaiian Folk Dances, as well as Ballet. In 1983 he was a Finalist in the Arts Recognition Talent Search Competition in Miami, Florida and was later named Presidential Scholar in the Arts where he performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. He received his Bachelor of Arts and Master's of Arts Degree in Dance at U.C.L.A.
He has danced and performed with Robert Wilson, Kei Takei's Moving Earth, Shapiro and Smith Dance, Sally Silvers, and for five years with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane and Co. In 1993 he was given a guest contract to dance with Pina Bausch in Wuppertal and was a member of the Folkwang Tanz Studio in Essen-Werden, Germany. From 1994-2001 he danced in the Bremer Stadttheater under the Directorship of Susanne Linke and Urs Dietrich. He received the DanceWeb Prize in 1997 and 1998. Since 2001 Cruz has been freelancing in Essen, Germany. In 2004 Leonard was a Choreographer for the SIWIC Program in Zurich, Switzerland where he had the opportunity to work with 20 professional dancers and was guided by Carolyn Carlson. He was a guest teacher/choreographer at the University of Cologne , Folkwang University, and at the Essen-Werden Gymnasium(The only High School were students can concentrate with dance in the diploma). He was a Bessie-Schoenberg Choreographer in Residence at the Yard in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts for 2005. In Germany he was named remarkable young choreographer from the critics of Ballett International/Tanz Aktuell 2005. He was also mentioned from 2004-2006 as one of 50 Important Choreographers in the German Tanz Platform. In summer 2006 he was an APPEX-Fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles. Leonard is presently an M.F.A. Candidate at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee's Low Residency Program. Cruz was just appointed Guest Assistant Professor in Dance the Academic year 2008-2009 at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. More info: www.leonard-cruz.com