You left Mexico at 16 to attend the English National Ballet School. How did your family react?
My roots are very poor. I have family who live in the countryside; they never saw this as a career. When I left, they thought my parents were crazy. Later I came back to Mexico as a principal to perform. It was the first time some from my family had seen me dance and been inside a proper theater. They were really surprised. I think they finally understood.
Who were your role models as a student?
I went to England with a small complex. I was always watching the dancers, with their beautiful European bodies and long legs—that was my idea of a ballerina. My teacher once told me, "You look like a fly on a cake," because I am dark. So it was hard for me to find role models.