Luis Valdes now dances for the Colorado Ballet. 

(Courtesy Luis Valdes)

Cuba is known for producing some of the best ballet dancers in the world. For Luis Valdes, who danced with the National Ballet of Cuba, it was a way out of his homeland. He defected in 2003, initially danced with the Cincinnati Ballet, and joined the Colorado Ballet in 2005.

Luis Valdes danced in Cuba until he left the country for the U.S. in 2003. 

(Courtesy Luis Valdes)

Valdes, who still has family in Cuba, says President Obama's visit to the island nation last week to improve relations between the two countries makes him optimistic about Cuba's future. But he doesn't expect changes to happen overnight. He spoke with Nathan Heffel.