Founder and Artistic Director, Jessica Odasz, formed Western New York Ballet in 2003 as a professional ballet company dedicated to the pursuit of promoting dance performance and education in the surrounding communities. Facing the challenges of running a small ballet company in a crumbling economy, Ms. Odasz found inspiration in her advanced students and decided to fill a void in Rochester's culutural scene- a professional youth ballet company.
The company has since fully transitioned and now, Western New York Ballet is a thriving classical youth company featuring some of the region's most dedicated and talented young dancers. WNYB has performed many full-length repertoire and original ballets since 2003 such as 'The Nutcracker,' 'Hansel & Gretel,' 'Vivaldi's Four Seasons,' 'Pas de Quatre,' 'Peter and the Wolf,' 'Alice in Wonderland,' 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,' 'Paquita,' and excerpts from classical ballets including 'Swan Lake,' 'Raymonda,' 'Don Quixote,' 'Flames of Paris,' 'Sleeping Beauty,' 'Le Corsaire,' and 'Giselle.' 2014 and 2015's winter seasons included the holiday classic, 'The Nutcracker.'
Congratulations to our coaches and students...over the weekend of Feb 20-22, 2015, Odasz Dance Theatre competed in the Chicago semi-finals of Youth America Grand Prix, the world's largest student ballet competition. Our founder and Artistic Director, Jessica Odasz, was awarded the 'Outstanding Teacher Award,' our Assistant Artistic Director, Andrea Astuto, was awarded the 'Outstanding Choreographer Award,' and the school collectively won 1st place for all our ensemble pieces. Among our students, Emma Fernandes (10) was awarded 1st place in Pre-Competitive Contemporary and top 12 Pre-Competitive Classical, Olivia Bevilacqua (11) was awarded 2nd place Pre-Competitive Contemporary and 2nd place Pre-Competitive Classical, Riley Bevilacqua (13) won 2nd place Junior Contemporary and top 12 Junior Classical, Denise Moser (15) placed top 12 Senior Contemporary, and Laura Rich (17) placed top 12 Senior Contemporary. All 16 of our students who competed in Chicago made it to the NYC Finals. We are so proud of the entire group of coaches and dancers and extend our sincerest gratitude to the amazing judges, faculty and staff at YAGP.