Kirsten Avelar

Kiri Avelar holds a B.A. in Dance Education from New Mexico State University, and is currently pursuing her MFA in Dance at Rutgers University. She began her formal dance training as a scholarship recipient with the Boston Ballet, where she was introduced to Spanish dance under Ramon de los Reyes, and the Milwaukee Ballet School, later performing with the Milwaukee Ballet under the Artistic Direction of Simon Dow. After performing with the Milwaukee Ballet she moved to Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México where she founded the Academia de Ballet Emmanuel, an after-school program providing quality dance education for the children of Hogar de Niños Emmanuel Orphanage. Over the course of 10 years as Founding Director and Resident Teaching Artist, she designed and implemented a curriculum in ballet and Spanish dance, recruited and trained faculty, and initiated an annual summer dance intensive, hosting guest faculty and students internationally. She went on to direct the Pan American Dance Institute in New Mexico, bringing artists and dance programming from Mexico, South America, and Spain to the community statewide. In that role she co-authored “Literacy through Movement”, a practical manual for classroom teachers, bringing movement into the classroom through the integration of language arts and dance. Over the course of 15 years she has served on the dance faculties of New Mexico State University, Rutgers University, El Paso Community College (TX), Sharron Miller’s Academy for the Performing Arts (NJ), and as a teaching artist in both private and public schools. She currently resides in New York City, where she is the Associate School Director for Ballet Hispánico and teaches in the School of Dance.