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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, August 28, 2008

New Guilderland Ballet teacher

By Saranac Hale Spencer

GUILDERLAND — When she was 8 years old, Vanessa Viscusi saw the Nutcracker ballet and decided that she would be a ballerina.

“I looked at my mom — it was in the middle of the show — I said, ‘I want to dance like them,’” Viscusi recalled of the moment she decided to take dancing seriously.  “I saw all the older girls,” she said, and as they were twirling, and leaping, and spinning, she thought that was what she wanted to do.

Seventeen years later, the 8-to-10 age group is her favorite one to teach, because, she said, that’s when kids decide whether or not they will take dance seriously. 

“You can really mold them into a great dancer,” she said of the children at that age who choose to carry on with ballet.

“The little kids are adorable,” she added.  “I wouldn’t give that up.” 

Viscusi, a New Jersey native, is the newest teacher to join the Guilderland Ballet.  It’s a “much more creative movement for me,” Viscusi said of ballet, compared to jazz or modern dance.  Turning 25 on Aug. 25, this is her first year with the Guilderland Ballet, Viscusi said, and she also teaches at the Saratoga City Ballet.

After getting a Bachelor of Arts degree in dance at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Viscusi got engaged to be married and realized, “There were other things for me,” she said, other than pursuing a career as a dancer.  “I knew I wanted to help kids move on with theirs,” said Viscusi of why she likes teaching dance.

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