Vanessa Elizabeth performing at “Mauzy Elegance” to one of her favorite pieces by Olafur Arnalds. (2012 Aug)
Bus to Balkans
Vanessa Elizabeth performing with Seraka Dance Company at “Dance on the Edge 5” (2013 May)
Vanessa Elizabeth improvising with violinist Evelyn Osborne at “A Night at the Caravanserai: Carnivale” (2012 Sep)
Vanessa Elizabeth performing two improvised numbers at “What Lies Beyond The Sparkles” (2011 Dec)
Vanessa found belly dance during her studies at Memorial University in 2007. Though actively involved in music and theatre since a young age, nothing compares to the joy, creativity and passion that dance has brought into her life. She currently performs a non-traditional style of belly dance, a style that takes influences from classical Indian, flamenco, hip hop, contemporary, as well as tribal styles of belly dance. Vanessa currently holds a Basic Black certification from The Dark Side Studio.
Vanessa has studied intensively with Andrea Kitta of the Neighbourhood Strays, joining the troupe officially from 2008-2010. In 2009 she co-founded Wild Lily Dance Centre where she managed studio operations and taught weekly classes until finishing her term as director in 2012. Since 2010 she’s been directing Seraka Dance Company, performing regularly in and around St. John’s NL. Vanessa is also the lead instructor of Seraka Studios, teaching weekly classes in her signature style of belly dance.
Vanessa is dedicated to keeping her own skills sharp and her studies up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques. She travels regularly for training, continuing her study of belly dance through workshops with top dancers including Audra Simmons (CAN), Mira Betz (US), Heather Stants (US), Samantha Emanuel (UK) and Kami Liddle (US). Her upcoming studies include classes with American Tribal Style founder Carolena Nericcio (US) and Belly Dance Superstar April Rose (US).
Taking inspirations from her instructors and dancers such as Heather Labonté, Rachel Brice, Colleena Shakti, and Zafira Dance Co., she builds on her background in music and theatre and strives to push her creative boundaries. She is identified by her stage presence, strong arm and hand movements, and subtle nuances. Outstanding musicality, grace, and strength give her performances a powerful and engaging quality, allowing her to connect with her audience.
Vanessa holds Grade 8 Piano from the Royal Conservatory of Music, a Bachelor of Science in Pure Math from Memorial University of Newfoundland, and works as an Ad Operation Analyst with an online advertising company.
- Seraka Dance Company, Co-Founder & Artistic Director (2010-Present)
- DanceNL, General Member, NL Moves Leader (2010-Present)
- Wild Lily Dance Centre, Co-Founder & Managing Director (2009-2012)
- Kittiwake Dance Theatre, Board of Directors (2009-2010)
- Neighbourhood Strays Belly Dance Troupe, Company Dancer (2008-2010)
Influences & Inspirations
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