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Nerissa Aquino

Nerissa represents DancEast Workshop (DEW) as the DEW Coordinator of this outreach program and non-for-profit arm of DancEast Studios. A Nashville native, she grew up taking ballet and jazz under the late Wanda Lenk Walters, but found modern dance as her artistic movement-of-choice while in college at Elon University. Additionally, she learned the folk dances of her parent’s homeland, the Philippines, with the local Phil-Am Association; African dance while studying abroad in Ghana; and traditional dances of Kiribati as a U.S. Peace Corps Health Volunteer. In 2005, she joined City Ballet Theatre, a non-for-profit dance school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 2007 back at home, the Vanderbilt Dance Program prepared her for performing opportunities as a guest dancer with local companies Blue Moves, Company Rose, Chinese Arts Alliance, and other roles for Nashville-based choreographers. She trained under Banning Bouldin and served as one of New Dialect’s first company members.

Since June 2015, she has collaborated with the young DEW dancers to create a piece performed outdoors at Shelby Bottoms Nature Center. “Echoes of Vitality” is her first time directing and creating choreography with youth for a public event. She brings her experience working in social services and non-for-profits to her role at DancEast. Nerissa’s passion is to contribute to the possibilities of movement for anyone wishing to explore dance wellness through movement stretching from the dance studios out

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