COMPANY DIRECTOR/RESIDENT CHOREOGRAPHER
"Dance brings meaning to my life. It allows my soul to sore free and to create anything my wildest dreams can imagine. Sharing my passion with my dancers is what I live for. I choose to inspire."
Alessia Gaetana Santoro was born in Poughkeepsie, New York. She began her ballet studies under the tutelage of American Ballet Theatre and School of American Ballet trained dancers. Ms. Santoro has performed in commissioned works by choreographers Lonne Moretton, Susan Slotnick, Maureen Mansfield and Yoav Kaddar. Performance venues have included the Bardavon Opera House, Ulster Performing Arts Center, the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs, the Performing Arts Center at Concord Academy, Hartwell Dance Theatre, Vassar College, McKenna Theatre, and the City Center studios in New York City.
Ms. Santoro attended the prestigious New York State Summer School for the Arts Modern Dance division from 2003-2007 under the direction of Carolyn Adams (Paul Taylor Co. principal and Julliard Faculty). Alessia has performed in modern works choreographed by Danny Grossman (Paul Taylor Co.), Robert Battle (Parsons Dance Co., Julliard Graduate, Artistic Director Alvin Ailey), and Martha Graham. She appeared as the featured soloist in "Plod" choreographed by Dan Wagoner during her summer residence at Summer Stages Dance and in "Caffeinated" choreographed by Larry Keigwin during his residency at the College at Brockport.
Ms. Santoro holds a BFA in dance from the college at Brockport where she performed in a graduate thesis and "Requiem for Janet" choreographed by Bill Evans. While at Brockport she studied with Suzanne Oliver PhD., Courtney World, Anne Burnidge, Bill Evans, James Hansen, Moriah Maloney, and Heather Roffe, and with master classes by David Dorfman, Clay Taliaferro, Travis Gatling, Larry Keigwin, Monica Bill Barnes, and Andrea Miller. Ms. Santoro has worked as an intern at Broadway Dance Center where she appeared in a promotional video for "Step Up 3D". While working at BDC she studied extensively with Jack Hertzog, Leslie Feliciano, Brice Mousset, and was mentored by Salim "Slam" Gauwloos. Alessia continues professional studies at Broadway Dance Center and at the Pulse on Tour where she has taken class with Brian Friedman, Wade Robson, Laurieann Gibson, Mia Michaels, Chris Judd, Tyce Diorio, Gil Duldulao, Ian Eastwood, Tessandra Chavez, Dave Scott, Brooke Lipton, and Desmond Richardson.
Alessia has also been teaching in the Hudson Valley for 20 years, currently she is faculty and Artistic Director at New York Academy of Ballet (home to PDT) where she educates children of all ages in the history of dance and kinesthetic movement of the body. She has also taught Master classes in Jazz for Dutchess Community College and has taught Modern classes at Vassar College as a guest artist. Ms. Santoro had taught on faculty at Vassar college teaching classes in Beginning-Advanced Modern and Intro to Ballet. She was also Rehearsal Director for Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre.
As well as Ms. Santoro's dance background, she has undergone training with Luke Lombardo, Master Trainer at Lagree Fitness in California where she received her certification as a Lagree Instructor. Alessia is also a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
Alessia is currently furthering her knowledge and education in pursuit of several certifications through the National Academy of Sports Medicine including, Certified Group Fitness Instructor (CGFI), Performance Enhancement Specialization (PES), Nutrition Certification (CNC), and Behavior Change Specialization (BCS).