Attorney Bernard Walsh Supports Local Immigrant Artist

Bernard F. Walsh and Lauren Ann Walsh support Cuban immigrant dancers Octavio Martin and Yaima Franco.

Octavio Martin is the new Artistic Director for the Brandon Ballet. Having a long-standing relationship with the Brandon Ballet, Octavio said, “this is a wonderful opportunity for me to do what I love to do.”

Octavio and his wife, Yaima Franco, immigrated from Cuba where both had international reputations with The National Ballet of Cuba.  Formally with Sarasota Ballet for 7 years as a principal dancer, along with Franco, the company’s ballet mistress, both decided to pursue their passion. Knowing they wanted to stay in Florida, they began the search for the right company. With the support of Lauren Ann and Bernard Walsh, Sarasota’s arts patrons, Octavio was able to find and accept his new role with the Brandon Ballet.

Last weekend, Martin tapped his top students and some professional friends to present his first public program. The program included original choreography and admirable artistry. “Aire,” choreographed by Martin for himself and his wife, was a first opportunity to see the couple dance together. Franco, who was trained in Cuba’s impressive ballet system, had crisp technique, beautiful lines and a lovely serene presence.

Octavio and his wife became American citizens in 2011.

About Octavio Martin
Octavio Martin is a native of Habana Cuba, and received his dance training at the Cuban National Ballet School “Alejo Carpentier.” Mr. Martin joined the National Ballet of Cuba in 1994 under the direction of Alicia Alonso, and in 2001, was promoted to a Primer Bailarin. During his twelve years at the National Ballet of Cuba, Mr. Martin represented the company in galas, festivals and theaters in Latin America, the United States, Europe, and Asia. In 2004, he received the ‘Alejo Carpentier’ medal, one of the highest honors in Cuba for an artist; in the same year, he was invited to appear as a Principal Guest Artist for The Royal Winnipeg Ballet of Canada. In 2006, he joined The Sarasota Ballet first under the direction of Robert de Warren and then under the direction of Iain Webb.

About  Yaima Franco
Ms. Franco began her ballet training at the age of nine at the Cuban National Ballet School “Alejo Carpentier.” She graduated in 1999, and then joined The National Ballet of Cuba under the direction of Alicia Alonso dancing soloist roles in romantic and classical ballets such as Swan Lake, Giselle, Les Sylphides, Don Quixote, Coppelia, The Nutcracker and Paquita. Ms. Franco also danced in contemporary ballets from choreographers such as Alberto Mendez, Ivan Tenorio, Juan Carlos Santamaria and Maria Rovira. In 2000, Yaima danced in George Balanchine’s Ballo Della Regina, staged by Merrill Ashley; the work is one of the few Balanchine ballets performed in Cuba.


Client Testimonials

Attorney David Goldman has been exceptional in the process of helping me through the case. He has always been easy to reach, whether by phone or email, and has thorough knowledge and explains clearly in depth so you feel safe and confident in your lawyer

I used Michael Babboni and his paralegal, Nicole Moore for a legal matter. They went above and beyond my expectations. During the entire process there was constant communication with both Michael and Nicole. They were extremely organized and on top of my case, which I am very grateful for. Michael truly had my best interests at heart and he was very genuine. I plan on referring Michael to all family and friends and will continue to use him in the future.

I dealt most with Mr. Fernandez. I didn’t know a lot about this process. He took the time to speak with me individually, in person, to explain everything. It was very helpful to actually know and understand the process and what to expect. He closed my case quickly, which was nice that it was not prolonged! I appreciated his hard work and getting me what I felt I deserved after my car accident. I highly recommend him to anyone who needs an honest and reliable lawyer to assist you with your case!

I hired Mr. Walsh after an automobile accident this past March. He and his entire staff were extremely professional. They kept me informed every step of the way and settled my case in a timely manner. Thank you so much for your help.


Law Offices Near You

Sarasota Office



2822 University Parkway Sarasota Florida 34243

Bradenton Office



1215 Manatee Ave West Bradenton Florida 34205

St. Petersburg Office

St. Petersburg


6446 Central Avenue St. Petersburg Florida 33707

Lakewood Ranch Office



9040 Town Center Pkwy, Lakewood Ranch Florida 34202

Venice Office



3986 S. Tamiami Trail Venice Florida 34293

Englewood Office



2960 S. McCall Rd Englewood Florida 34224

Punta Gorda Office

Punta Gorda


122 Nesbit St, Suite 113, Punta Gorda Florida 33950

Port Charlotte Office

Port Charlotte


3986 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte Florida 33952

Arcadia Office



10 South DeSoto Avenue Arcadia Florida 34266

Fort Myers Office

Fort Myers


8359 Beacon Blvd Fort Myers Florida 33907

Lakeland Office



5137 S. Lakeland Dr. Lakeland Florida 33813

Get personal attention from a lawyer with decades of experience.