Shaunna Vella


Professional Overview: 

Shaunna Vella


Shaunna Vella is a choreographer, performance artist, dance student and educator, activist and community organizer and her work is an intersection of creative practice for survival, performance as ritual, and dynamic community building. She is Director of the LEAP ( Liberal Education for Arts Professionals) Program and a full-time adjunct professor at Saint Mary's College and has been teaching at the college since 2004. Shaunna also teaches youth and open classes of adults at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center in Berkeley, as well as volunteering for Bay Area Girls Rock Camp and Serenity House in Oakland.

She has been creating dance in the Bay Area since 2000, and her choreography is political and interdisciplinary, combining highly-physical movement, text, improvisation scores, musical collaborations, bold aesthetics and queer-feminist theory. Her work investigates performance as community ritual with an emphasis on audience participation, building sites for introspection, to explore socio-cultural-political constructs, to immerse in the sacred, queer and divine. Her choreography and performance installations have been seen at Counterpulse, ODC Theater, Dance Mission Theater, Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, The Garage, Studio 210, Ashby Stage, The Flightdeck, Temescal Arts Center, as well as open spaces and unexpected corners.  
Shaunna continues to teach, study, collaborate and perform around the world with performance artist she admires greatly. She has had a celebrated performance career working as a dancer for many nationally recognized dance companies in which she had the opportunity to travel on many international tours. She has created and performed works with Rogelio Lopez and Dancers, Anne Bluethenthal and Dancers, Davalos Dance Company, Liss Fain Dance, Paufve Dance, Agora Dance Project, Josh Prince, Dance Ceres and Deborah Slater Dance Theater. In 2007, as an active artist she served on the Isadora Duncan Dance Committee to view and award Bay Area dance.
She holds a MFA in Dance: Creative Practice and BFA in Dance: Performing Arts and Psychology from Saint Mary's College.

School of Liberal Arts » Performing Arts: Music, Dance and Theatre
School of Liberal Arts » Performing Arts: Dance
SMC Email Address: 
Contact Information: 

LeFevre Theatre - 5

Phone: 925-631-8539


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