CAP Teaching Artist

Kiri Avelar

CAP Teaching Artist

Kiri Avelar is an interdisciplinary artist, educator and activist who focuses her work around collaborative community expression. She holds an MFA in Dance from Rutgers University, and a BA in Dance with honors from New Mexico State University. She is the Founding Director of the Academia de Ballet Emmanuel, an after-school program providing quality dance education for the children of Hogar de Niños Emmanuel Orphanage in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México. She has 20 years of teaching experience, serving on the dance faculties of New Mexico State University, Rutgers University, El Paso Community College, Sharron Miller’s Academy for the Performing Arts in NJ, and as a teaching artist in both private and public schools. In 2011 she joined the faculty of the Ballet Hispánico School of Dance in NYC, where she currently serves as Associate School Director.

Ms. Avelar’s teaching philosophy is centered around culturally responsive pedagogy, student voice, and reflection, challenging students to own their learning experience, take risks, and believe in greater, diverse possibilities both inside and outside the classroom. She has presented her work in dance education through workshops and conferences, including Partnering Through a Cultural Lens for the NYC Department of Education, Exploring Latin American Culture Through Dance for the Face to Face Arts in Education Roundtable NYC, Modern Dance: Principles That Support Movement for the American College Dance Festival, and Recreación y Tiempo Libre: Posturas y Tendencias Mundiales for the Congreso Internacional de Educación Física, Deporte y Recreación in Mexico.

Having studied as a scholarship recipient at the Boston Ballet School, and more extensively in the New Mexico/Texas borderland region and Madrid, Spain, Ms. Avelar has performed with the Milwaukee Ballet, Cor Ignis Contemporary Dance, Sol y Arena Spanish Dance, American Bolero Dance Company, and as an independent artist. Her choreographic work has been presented in communities throughout NYC, the Southwestern United States, and Mexico, including El Barrio’s Artspace PS109, Jacques D’Amboise’s Arts Nest at the National Dance Institute, Ballet Hispánico’s Performances for Young People at the Apollo Theater and The United Palace, The Plaza Hotel for Ballet Hispánico’s annual gala, Teatro INBA (Cd. Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico) Rio Grande Theatre (Las Cruces, NM), Chamizal National Memorial Theater (El Paso, TX), Wortham Theater (Houston, TX), and the American College Dance Festival Gala (Laredo, TX).

Ms. Avelar’s scholarly research Descubriendo Latinx: The Hidden Text in American Modern Dance, looks at the absented presence of Latinx holding an integral role in shaping the foundation of modern dance in the United States. She is the proud recipient of a Zemi Dance Theatre scholarship supporting the documentation of her MFA thesis performance Descubrimiento: Voice, Place, Identity, an interdisciplinary community experience providing diverse platforms for expression in exploring themes of ruido, Mestiza Consciousness and Latinidades, which premiered at El Barrio’s Artspace PS109 in East Harlem, NYC in 2019.


Contact the School of Dance Office at or by calling 212-362-6710, ext. 72.

Kiri Avelar, CAP Teaching Artist

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