Shirley Halili-Cruz

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Shirley Halili-Cruz is a multi-awarded ballet dancer, teacher and choreographer. She was born on 18 October 1959 in Tondo, Manila to Rufino Halili and Rufina Casanova. She is married to Eric Cruz, an engineer.

She graduated in 1980 with a business administration degree, major in accounting, summa cum laude, from Siena College. She studied Polynesian dance, jazz, and ballet. Some of her teachers were Bonnie Weinstein Calagopi (1967-1972), Edgar Valdez (1972-1974), Vella Damian (1974-1984), Maniya Barredo, and Tina Santos. She also trained abroad at the New York Academy and Conservatory of Music, American Ballet Center, and the Neubert Ballet Institute.

She started teaching dance at the age of 13 when she took over Weinstein-Calagopi’s school in St. Paul College. She also taught at Siena College, Angelicum School, and Santa Catalina College.


After achieving numerous awards as a ballet dancer locally and abroad, Cruz started a teaching career by establishing the Halili-Cruz School of Ballet, which is presently considered as the most outstanding ballet school in the Asia Pacific area.

Aside from being a ballet teacher, Halili-Cruz wrote the Twelve Level Classical Ballet Syllabus, which is a comprehensive course in ballet. She is also appointed as chairperson for the National Committee on Dance under the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.


  • Halili-Cruz earned professional accreditation from the Dance Educators of America Western Kentucky University
  • 1984 – opened the Halili-Cruz School of Dance
  • 1988 – established the Queen City Ballet


  • Minkusiana
  • Visions in Blue
  • Carmen
  • Camille
  • La Gitana
  • Mir-i-nisa
  • Swan Lake
  • Paquita
  • Don Quixote
  • Giselle


  • Alice in Wonderland (1985)
  • Filipino Suite (1988)
  • Variations in White (1988)
  • Ang Aming Inay(Our Mom) (1988)
  • Valse Engrande (Grand Waltz) (1990)
  • Promenade (1990)
  • Konsiyerto (Concerto) (1991)


  • Globio, M.L.,Ojeda, M. & Villaruz, B.E.S. "Altar". In CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art, 1st ed., Vol. 5, 211. Philippines: CCP Publications Office, 1994.



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