Roman Baca, a New Mexico native, is a classically trained ballet dancer and choreographer. In 2001, recognizing his desire to defend the vulnerable, he took a hiatus from dance and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, serving as a machine-gunner and fire-team leader in Fallujah, Iraq during the Iraq War.
After the war, Baca returned to dance and co-founded Exit12 Dance Company, which tells veterans’ stories choreographically, to increase cross-cultural understanding and heal divisions. He has choreographed and championed dance works that explore the military veteran experience and the impact of war on civilians and families. Baca has presented his work at the 1st and 4th National Summits for the National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military, the Mayo Clinic’s Humanities in Healthcare Symposium, TEDX San Antonio, TED@NYC, and Lincoln Center’s Veteran Home Show.
He has also led choreographic workshops at schools, universities, and veteran’s centers to inspire military veterans, victims of war, and civilians through the power of dance.
Baca is currently pursuing an MFA in choreography at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. His research at Trinity Laban is two-fold: to expand his practice and solidify his voice as a choreographer, and to research, choreographically, the psycho-somatic connection in soldiers that is the result of the embodiment of military training. As part of his studies, he is choreographing a work to Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps, collaborating with military veterans, dancers, musicians, and artists. He also researches and volunteers with London-based charitable organizations to connect military veterans to the performing arts.
Mr. Baca graduated Cum Laude from St. Mary’s College of CA with a BA in Performing Arts and is a Masters Candidate in Nonprofit Management at Columbia University. Mr. Baca received a Fulbright Award to the United Kingdom in 2017, inducted into the New York State Veterans Hall of Fame in 2015 and, is a 2015 Veterans4Diplomacy Fellow, a NYC Service Platoon Member with The Mission Continues, a Leadership Fellow with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, a 2014 Art and Healing Network Awardee, a recipient of a 2012 Fellowship from The Mission Continues, a 2009 producing and presenting grant from AjkunBT, a 2010 Access DanceUSA Scholarship from DanceNYC through support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Brian Tippen Memorial Scholarship and the Connecticut Wartime Veterans Medal.
Specialties: Non-profit, dance, choreography, veterans affairs, community arts, arts programs