Toronto Co-Artistic Director
Vanessa was born in Toronto and has been living in the same house in the North York area all her life. Though her residential history is pretty simple, Vanessa is a dynamic, talented, and glowing addition to Culture Shock Toronto (CSTO). She has recently become CSTO's Co-Artistic Director.
She began dancing when her mom enrolled her into a ballet class at a young age, before taking jazz classes for nine years at a dance studio called Performing Dance Arts where she began to take hip hop classes. During her second year of university she joined a university dance group and performed a variety of styles, such as jazz, hip hop, and modern.
Vanessa first heard about CSTO at U of T's Festival of Dance in 2007: while waiting backstage, she recognized a classmate who was then in CSTO and watched them perform. She loved the show and decided to audition for the troupe, and she quickly became part of the Culture Shock family.
Vanessa loves performing with CSTO, but it's the people that make her time with CS so enjoyable for her. From the first time she stepped into a CS class, she appreciated of how relaxed and friendly the atmosphere was. Her time with CSTO has taught her how amazing dance can be when you aren't dancing with competitors, but with friends.
Vanessa is always up for a challenge, and hopes to continuously grow as a dancer. She wants to become more involved in CSTO's Youth Outreach initiatives and would like to start up a dance class for individuals with developmental disabilities. Vanessa has finished her undergrad at the University of Toronto and is continuing her education in order to become an educator herself.