Karel Cruz is from Holguin, Cuba, and received his training at Cuba’s Escuela Nacional de Artes. He joined Ballet Nacional de Cuba in 1996 and left in 1998 to join Ballet Clasico de Camara in Venezuela. From 1999 to 2000, he danced with Teatro Teresa Carreno, also in Venezuela. After coming to the United States, Mr. Cruz spent a year at the Rock School before joining Pacific Northwest Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2002. He was promoted to soloist in 2007 and principal in 2009.
In 2013, Mr. Cruz performed as a guest artist with Royal New Zealand Ballet.