After being an All-City High School football player and a violinist in the El Paso Texas All-City Orchestra, Ernest Tolentino combined his athletic and music abilities in college. Ernie received a B.M. in Music and Ballet Performance from the University of Texas at El Paso, he danced with Milwaukee Ballet and then the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre for fourteen years rising to rank of soloist.
Ernie danced numerous major and principal roles in all Pittsburgh Ballet productions and was featured in classical and contemporary works by Marius Petipa, Patrick Fantz, Ohad Naharin, Domy Reitersoffer, Agnes DeMille, Anthony Tudor and George Balanchine, just to name a few. An audience favorite, Ernie’s athletic ability, dramatic characterizations, sensitive and skillful partnering have won acclaims from critics all over the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Taiwan. In 1992 Ernie founded The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Dancers’ Trust, a career transition fund for retiring PBT dancers and remains the executive director. He is currently on the teaching staff of the Conservatory of Performing Arts at Point Park University and Carnegie Mellon University Pre-College Drama.
Ernie is married to former Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre principal Tamar Rachelle, and they have two children.