Community Arts Partnerships Staff
MELISSA ANDUIZA (Community Arts Partnerships Site Manager) Melissa is a native of Miami, Florida. Developing a concentration in the art of dance as a young girl; she attended the prestigious New World School of the Arts for Dance and studied with Marielena Mencia and Yanis Pikieris, artistic directors of the Miami Youth Ballet. In 2010, she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance from the University of South Florida where dance masters, Michael Foley, Paula Nunez, Sandra Robinson, Jeanne Travers and Gretchen Warren closely mentored her. As an emerging choreographer, Melissa was invited by the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA) to perform “Stained Glass”, an original piece that she both choreographed and danced for the National Gala at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Melissa began her professional career as a dancer with the Charlotte Ballet from 2010 until 2015 under the direction of Paris Opera Ballet Etoiles, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and George Balanchine’s muse, Patricia McBride. Inspiring the arts community in Charlotte, NC, Melissa performed many classical roles and contemporary works by renowned choreographers such as William Forsythe, Sasha Janes, Jiri Kylian, Dwight Rhoden, and Twyla Tharp. She has set works on Charlotte Ballet for dancer-run performances and Appalachian Ballet Company for the Southeastern Regional Ballet Association (SERBA) annual gala. In 2012, Bonnefoux nominated her for the respected, Princess Grace Award. Melissa is also a Master Ballet/Modern Teacher and has a passion for Community Service. She has served in the school systems, women’s detention centers, and as an Ambassador for the US Embassy educating children about the arts in Tunisia. In 2015, Melissa moved to New York City and danced for Complexions Contemporary Ballet under the direction of Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson for their Fall 2015 Season. She is currently working towards her Pilates Certification in the beautiful Gramercy neighborhood in Flatiron District. Melissa is thrilled to join Ballet Hispanico as Community Arts Partnerships Site Manager.
GABRIELA ESTRADA (Community Arts Partnerships Manager) Gabriela Estrada studied her BA in Dance at the University of California, Irvine where she danced in the UCI Spanish Dance Ensemble, Ballet Folklórico de UCI, and musical theater programs while collaborating as a founding member of the Hermosillo-Irvine Sister City Foundation and working at UCI’s Educational Opportunity Program. In 1996 she founded Dance Collage School, affiliated to the Royal Academy of Dance, with the mission to promote dance as art, tradition, and culture. In 1999 she was awarded a research grant to travel to Spain to further her studies in Spanish dance, produced The Best of Broadway musical theater revue and Al-Andalus: Anthology of Spanish Dance, and initiated DCG youth dance group participating as finalist in the Jazz Dance World Congress choreographic competition with repertoire in contemporary jazz, ballet, and flamenco. In 2000, Estrada joined the University of Sonora Department of Dance, where she taught technique classes in ballet and contemporary jazz, as well as lecture classes in dance science and movement analysis. In 2007, Estrada received a fellowship to return to UCI to study an MFA in Dance, where she taught technique courses in ballet, modern, and social dance, lead the Spanish Dance Ensemble, participated as choreographer South Coast Repertory, collaborated with the marketing department of the New World Flamenco Festival, and joined Creative Connections Arts Bridge outreach program as scholar. In 2010, Estrada published her MFA thesis, The Choreographic Development of The Three-Cornered Hat through the 20th Century in both, English and Spanish, through a grant from the Proyecto Editorial de Sonora. The following year, she moved to Seville where she enlivened the tap dance community of Seville through her work as musical theater teacher and choreographer while enrolled in the Ph.D. in Flamenco Interdisciplinary Studies program at the University of Seville. In 2011 she received a fellowship for documentary directors from the National Association of Latino Independent Producers for a biographical reconstruction of her dissertation case study titled “ENI9MA,” and receiving fiscal sponsorship support from the Dance on Camera Festival of New York, which led her to engage as marketing intern in the Festival de Cine Europeo and receive scholarships for workshops in film production. Estrada currently collaborates with Ballet Hispánico as Community Arts Partnership Education Manager, eager to create further bridges between Hispanic and Latin American communities and the arts, while sharing her Ph.D. dissertation research on the contributions of flamenco to ballet through lectures, master classes, and publications, collaborating as dance critic and as teaching artist in professional dance organizations in New York City and abroad.