Nerissa started training at the age of 2½. She has studied Ballet, Pointe, Pas de Deux, Repertoire, Classical Variations, Character, Ethnic Dancing, Modern, Contemporary, Lyrical, Hip Hop and Musical Theatre. She has been awarded National Finals Champion First Place Winner for the Danceamerica for 3 times. At the age of 10 she was awarded a full scholarship to study at the Broadway Dance Center in NYC and in 2003 she placed 4th in the Petite Dancer of the Year in the Danceamerica National Finals against 99 competitors. She was awarded numerous scholarships and was also the recipient of the Junior Silver Plate for excellence in ballet at the Lakehead Festival of the Arts in 2004. Most recently she was awarded Best Emotional Execution for her Modern duet “Torn “Apart” performed with Josée at the International Dance Challenge for 2010.
In July of 2004 she was accepted into the Professional Training Division of Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. She moved to Winnipeg at the age of 11, lived in residence at the RWB School and successfully completed and passed 5 years of Professional Training Levels and Exams in Ballet/Pointe/Pas de Deux (Vaganova Technique), Modern/Lyrical, and Character/Ethnic Dancing.
She was chosen to work with and present various new works of various choreographers in the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s competition entitled “First Steps”. She performed group numbers annually in Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s “In Concert” and was awarded a solo part in “La Fille Mal Gardée”, played the maid in “The Snow Queen”, and performed a duet for “Ballet in the Park”.
Missing home and family, she returned to Thunder Bay in June 2009 and has since successfully passed her Cecchetti Intermediate and Advanced I Ballet Exam, all ADAPT Jazz exams up to Intermediate 3, and graduated from Police Foundations at Confederation College. She also competed in pageants becoming the winner of Entrepreneur and 1st runner up for Miss Thunder Bay, Best Evening Gown Walk, runner up for Best Ambassador and Fitness with the Miss North Ontario, and also a finalist and competed in the Miss Universe Canada 2014 pageant.
Nerissa is a full member of the Professional Adjudicator’s Alliance, and is presently working on her certification for her Pilates Matwork. She has trained with numerous world renowned instructors including Raymond Lukens of the American Ballet Theatre, Frank Hatchett of Broadway Dance Centre, Diane Van Schoor and Kate Simmons of England, Slava Mesropov of Colorado Ballet, Nancy Kilgour, Sheila Kennedy of Canada, Sarah Jo Fazio from U.S.A, Mia Micheals and Wade Robson from SYTYCD, U.S.A, Blake McGrath and Nico Archambault from SYTYCD, Canada, Kameron Bink from SYTYCD, U.S.A. and Sofia Constantini of Winnipeg.
Nerissa is eager to pass on her passion and joy for dance to all her students at International Dance Academy.