International Star Isaac Hernandez Is Working to Bring More Ballet to Mexico

November 1, 2021

In between performances as a lead principal with the English National Ballet, Mexico native Isaac Hernández has spent the last decade working to make the arts more accessible in his home country. “I wanted to change the perception of dance in Mexico and give the audience there a chance to see what was happening around the world,” he says.

To that end, Hernández (along with his sister, Emilia, and younger brother, Esteban, a principal with San Francisco Ballet) founded a production company that puts on a recurring international gala, Despertares, and runs an outreach program. “We have master classes, we offer workshops like costume-making, we’ve had free auditions with San Francisco Ballet and English National Ballet,” Hernández says.

And on top of pursuing his law degree in Mexico, he’s also established the Creative Industries Federation Mexico, aimed at unifying different Mexican creative sectors to make them more economically sustainable.

Isaac Hernandez steps forward off of grass onto a stone path, looking down to the side
Hernández made his onscreen acting debut last year in Netflix’s miniseries “Someone Has to Die.” His first film, El Rey de Todo el Mundo, comes out in November. Laura Gallant

A Unique Start: “We are a family of 11 children, and both of my parents are former dancers. My dad put a barre in the backyard and started training us there. It was probably the only way it could have happened in Mexico.”

Onstage Again: “One of the thoughts I kept having when I went back on the stage was the excitement that anything could go wrong at any time. I missed that side of live performances.”

Pre-Performance Routine: “The one thing I always do is drink coffee before taking a half-hour nap. I wake up just as the caffeine is kicking in, which works especially well during Nutcracker season if you have a matinee and an evening show.”