Cuban ballerina Alonso gets top teaching prize

Associated Press
Cuba's Prima Ballerina Alicia Alonso, center, receives flowers from ballet students at the headquarters of Cuba's National Ballet after receiving the 2010 National Award of Education in Arts in Havana, Cuba, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010. Third left is Abel Prieto, Cuba's Minister of Culture and at right is Fernando Alonso, Alicia Alonso's husband. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes)

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Cuba has honored the celebrated ballerina and National Ballet director Alicia Alonso with its top award for arts instruction.

The 90-year-old prima ballerina assoluta received this year's National Prize for Artistic Teaching at a ceremony Monday in a wood-floor studio at the ballet's headquarters.

Alonso said she was touched.

She told admirers, journalists and dance students that "the most wonderful moment in life is when one can teach others what one has learned."

Alonso rose to stardom with the American Ballet Theater. She has led the Cuban National Ballet for decades, despite being nearly blind.

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