A woman of multiple talents and varied expertise, Sandra Balestracci is an administrator, artistic director, choreographer, producer and classical ballet instructor. In 1983, Ms. Balestracci retired from the professional stage and founded Williamsburg’s Contemporary Ballet Theatre, which earned the recognition as the Virginian Peninsula’s best dance company. In conjunction with CBT, she began the School of Contemporary Ballet Theatre. In September of 1996, she incorporated her school, becoming the dance division for the Eastern Virginia School for the Performing Arts. In 2000, she became Artistic Director of the Community Alliance for the Performing Arts/American Youth Ballet Company. Ms Balestracci has continued to maintain her high standards of excellence in dance education for over 25 years. In recognition she has been presented with the “Outstanding Teacher Award” at both the 2002 and the 2005 Youth America Grand Prix International Ballet Competition.
Her teaching experience encompasses over twenty five years of master classes, workshops, seminars at universities, schools for the performing arts, major dance conventions throughout the country, and at many ballet academies in New York City. In addition, she has served as an adjunct faculty member at Old Dominion University.
Ms. Balestracci is the first teacher in the State of Virginia and second in the country to receive the distinction of being a “Registered Dance Educator” by the National Registry of Dance Educators. Acceptance to the Registry demonstrates and qualifies her as an instructor in the teaching of dance and recognizes her for following the Code of Ethics and Guidelines for the Safe Practice of Teaching Dance. Her vast experience and devotion to her art has created a great demand for her expertise, as a teacher.
Ms. Balestracci began her dance studies in Boston, Massachusetts and continued her formal dance training, in New York City, at the American Ballet Theatre School. She had the privilege of training under the direction of Professor Mario Ignisci, Ana Roje, Sulamith Messerer, Mme. Nemtchinova and Mme. Swoboda. As a guest ballerina, Ms Balestracci has toured extensively with concert ballet companies throughout the United States, Europe, and South America , and was principal ballerina with many of America’s major opera companies, including the New York City Opera and San Francisco Opera.