| Vanessa Bessler - Artistic Director
YAGP Austin 2016, Houston 2017, Chicago 2018 and 2019 Outstanding Teacher Award Recipient
Vanessa is a former principal dancer with the National Ballet of Panama. She started her dancing career very early and was a full scholarship student at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York, New York. Her training includes the Vaganova, Royal Academy of Dancing, and Cecchetti methods along with modern dance and jazz. Vanessa has studied in Panama, Panama; New York, New York; Havana, Cuba; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Milan, Italy and Miami, Florida under renowned teachers including: Wasil Tupin, Angelco Yureska, Belinda Writes, Hector Zaraspe, John Magnus, Marek Cholewa and Elena Kunikova among others. She also participated in several international dance festivals in Argentina, Peru and El Salvador. Vanessa performed principal rolls in Ballets including: Don Quixote, Paquita, La Bayadere, Raymonda, Le Corsaire, Nutcracker, Spring Waters, Flower Festival, Paris Flames, Dying Swan (from Le Carnaval des), and Diana and Action.
In her fifteen plus years of teaching, Vanessa has a track record of preparing successful students who have joined professional companies and strong college programs. She also has prepared numerous Youth American Grand Prix (“YAGP”) regional top 12 finalists and award winners, including dancers who have progressed to the final round of the YAGP competitions held in New York. She has also been recognized as Outstanding Teacher for 3 consecutive years at YAGP. Additionally, her dancers have been recognized as finalists and top twelve dancers at the World Ballet Competition and one of her dancers was selected to represent the United States in the International Ballet Competition USA in 2018. Furthermore, her students have received numerous scholarships to world-renowned schools and summer intensive programs.
Vanessa holds degrees and certifications from the following institutions: Master of Business Administration, Barry University, Miami Florida. Postgraduate degree in Education, Universidad Santa Maria La Antigua, Republic of Panama. Bachelor of Arts, Universidad Santa Maria La Antigua, Republic of Panama, Bolshoi Academy Teacher Certification, Cecchetti Method Teacher Certification.