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ABT News

September 12, 2005


Nancy Raffa, a former dancer with American Ballet Theatre and Miami City Ballet has been named Director of American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensives. Her appointment, effective immediately, was announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie.

As Director, Raffa will oversee ABT’s acclaimed New York Summer Intensive, as well as its five satellite programs in Detroit, Alabama, Texas, California and Bermuda. Raffa will also oversee the cross-country national audition tour beginning in January 2006, sponsored by Freed of London, Ltd. Last season’s Summer Intensives included over 900 participants.

Of Raffa’s appointment, Kevin McKenzie said, “We are delighted to have Nancy return home to ABT. Her vast experience and knowledge of the art form will be a great asset both to the organization and to the thousands of students she will mentor.”

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Raffa received her early training with Madame Gabriella Darvash. In 1980, she became the youngest and first American female to win the Gold Medal at the Prix de Lausanne competition in Switzerland. The same year, Raffa joined Makarova and Company on Broadway and, at age 16, became a member of the corps de ballet of American Ballet Theatre. She joined Ballet de Santiago in 1985 as a principal dancer and was also a principal dancer at Ballet National Franēaise de Nancy. In 1992, she became a principal dancer with Miami City Ballet.

Raffa began her teaching career in Miami at the New World School of the Arts. In 1994, she joined the staff of the Miami City Ballet School, becoming the coordinator for the School’s summer intensive program and Ballet for Young People program. Among her many awards, Raffa was twice awarded a special teacher’s recognition from the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts and won a grant from the United States Information Services to act as a cultural ambassador and teacher for the company and school in Honduras.

On returning to American Ballet Theatre, Raffa said, “ABT has always stayed close to my heart, despite the many years I have been away. I look forward with great excitement and anticipation to working with dancers I will be meeting for the first time. I am honored to be working together with Kevin McKenzie and the extraordinary staff of artists at Ballet Theatre.”

Raffa holds an Ace certification in exercise physiology and graduated magna cum laude in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from St. Thomas University.

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