Domingo Rubio, the Mexico City-based dancer currently performing with Ballet Quad Cities, is discussing his American breakthrough in 1999.
"I was with a Mexican company dancing in Los Angeles," he says, "and Gerald Arpino [artistic director of Chicago's Joffrey Ballet], he saw me dancing at my fullest. You know, I was doing big, big roles ... everything that you could do without fainting. And stuff choreographed by me - things that would suit myself. He saw those performances and wanted me for his company.
"So even though I was 33," he continues, "which is, you know, an age that you could quit, I started with Joffrey."
"It was like a good second wind," says Rubio. "I started late, and I've been catching up."