Orlando Salgado was born in Havana, Cuba. He began his dance studies at the National School of Arts when he was 9 years old. At 13, he began combining his dance studies with artistic appearances in performances within the Cuban National Ballet. Notable maîtres such as Alicia Alonso, Fernando Alonso, Laura Alonso, Joaquin Banegas, Loipa Araujo and Azary Plisetsky contributed to his professional training.

Upon is graduation in 1968, he became part of the corps de ballet in the Cuban National Ballet, before being promoted to soloist in 1972 and First Dancer in 1976. As a member of the CNB during more than 30 years, he traveled to more than 50 countries in Europe, America, Asia, Africa and Oceania. He was the partenaire of prima ballerina Alicia Alonso for more than two decades, dancing ballets of the traditional classical and neo-classical repertoire. Throughout his career, he also accompanied all the first dancers of the CNB and numerous international ballet dancers. His extensive repertoire included the main roles of the romantic-classical tradition and the works of important choreographers of different styles.

From 1966 to 2000 he participated in all the editions of the International Ballet Festival of Havana, and had a special appearance in 2003. He participated as a guest artist in renowned and important Star Galas in different countries.

Since 1997 he is Associate Professor of the Faculty of Dance at the University of the Arts, in Havana, Cuba. He is a member of the International Dance Council, CID-UNESCO. In 2002 he obtained a Master's Degree in Performing Arts from the Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid, Spain.

Alongside his long career as a dancer, he carried out an important pedagogical labor, not only in the CNB, where he contributed to the formation of several generations of dancers, but also as a teacher in the Provincial School of Ballet and National School Ballet of Havana. Moreover, he has coached dancers in many other schools and companies around the world, teaching at summer courses and working as a guest teacher in countless companies and dance centers.

He has been a jury in numerous international dance competitions, and has won important prizes in competitions, as well as recognitions of organizations, theaters and governments of several countries.

Beginning in 2001, he worked for four years as a professor, trainer and rehearsal coach of the Colón Theatre Ballet in Buenos Aires, participating in several international tours with this company. In 2005, he moved to Madrid, Spain, where he worked as deputy director and teacher of the Carmen Roche Ballet until 2013. During those same years he also worked as a teacher at the Scaena Professional Dance Conservatory.

Since 2013 he is a professor at the Alicia Alonso University Dance Institute, attached to the Rey Juan Carlos University, in Madrid.