Sylvia del Villard (February 28, 1928-February 28, 1990), was an actress, dancer, choreographer and Afro-Puerto Rican activist. Del Villard was born in Santurce, a section of San Juan, Puerto Rico. As a young child, Del Villard would entertain her parents, Agustin and Marcoline Del Villard, with her dances. Her family considered her very talented and she was also a good student at school. She received her primary and secondary education in Santurce and when she graduated from high school the government of Puerto Rico awarded her with a scholarship to attend college.
Del Villard studied Sociology and Anthropology at Fisk University in Tennessee. However, Del Villard had to deal with the anti-black discrimination which was rampant in the southern regions of the United States at that time. She returned back to Puerto Rico and enrolled in the University of Puerto Rico where she earned her degree.
Upon graduating, Del Villard traveled to New York City and enrolled in the City College of New York. It was during this period that she was to develop a passion and love for Africa. She joined the song and ballet group called the "Africa House". She was also able to trace her African roots to the Yoruba people of Nigeria. Del Villard took dance and voice lessons with Leo Braun at the Metropolitan Opera. Read more/source