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VANESSA is a professional performing artist, educator, and illustrator

In her early dance training, she concentrated on classical

ballet, studying with Tatiana Akinfieva-Smith, Elena Manakhova, and Betty Webster. Soon she joined a pre-professional ballet company

and performed in many of the classics, including the

NutcrackerSwan Lake, and Coppélia. After high school, she made a

dream come true: she moved to New York City to pursue dance.

She attended the Alvin Ailey School in partnership with Fordham

University at Lincoln Center and earned a BFA Degree in Dance

Performance. While pursuing her degree as a scholarship

student, she performed works by Zvi Gotheiner, Kevin

Wynn, Elisa Monte, Robert Battle, Pascal Rioult, Jacqulyn Buglisi,

Nathan Trice, Ronald K. Brown, Max Luna III, Troy Powell,

and Alvin Ailey. She furthered her education through studies at

American Ballet Theatre, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet,

Briansky Saratoga Ballet Center, and Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet.

Following graduation, she accepted professional performance opportunities in the concert and commercial dance spectrum. Since 2010, she has been performing with CONTINUUM Contemporary/Ballet, where she is a founding company member. There she has had the honor of working with such choreographers as Juanjo Arques, Amy Seiwert, Gabrielle Lamb, Emery LeCrone, Donna Salgado and Tawny Chapman. Performance highlights include touring to the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, appearing at Bryant Park's Contemporary Ballet Festival, and dancing in a residency at the Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU. Her experience also includes performing with the José Mateo Ballet Theatre, Rebecca Kelly Ballet, Buggé Ballet, ad Hoc Ballet, NY2Dance, Ailey/Fordham Student Dancers, and being a represented dancer with the MSA Agency. Other credits include performing for the International Beauty Show, L’Oreal, Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Pink segment on CBS, New York Fashion Week, PDN Photoplus Expo, modeling for Capezio, and performing in corporate galas in Miami and Barcelona, Spain. She is founder of the Ballet on the Beach Dance Festival on Assateague Island.

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An accomplished dance educator, Vanessa has taught young dancers across Manhattan as part of the faculties of the Joffrey Ballet School, School at Steps on Broadway, Ballet Hispanico School, Ailey School, and Broadway Dance Center. She holds a certification from the Dance Education Laboratory and has worked as an Associate for the Education Department at New York City Center. In addition, she has a certificate of completion from The Arts and Passion-Driven Learning Institute at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and has attended the Teacher's Workshop at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet with Marcia Dale Weary, Boston Ballet's Adaptive Dance Teacher Training, and the Martha Graham School's Intensive Teacher Workshop.


Combining her interests in performing, teaching, and illustration, Vanessa is also the creator of Crafterina® a series of dance education books for families designed to spark imagination and inspire movement. Crafterina® playfully encourages empowerment and teaches youngsters they have the ability to make anything possible. Her book, A Day at the National Museum of Dance, was unveiled at the 30th Anniversary Gala at the National Dance Museum in Saratoga Springs, NY. Vanessa has created illustrations for Milwaukee Ballet and has been featured in Dance Teacher Magazine, Dance Spirit, Dance Informa, and Walt Disney Family Museum, among others. For more

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