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Press Kit

Media Contacts


Erika Lindblom-Bennett

Development Director


Jessica Odasz

Founder, Artistic Director


Odasz Dance Theatre & Western New York Ballet

2201 N. Clinton Ave

Irondequoit, NY 14617

(585) 708-DNCE



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The mission of Odasz Dance Theatre and Western New York Ballet is to benefit youth through providing access to enriching educational programs in ballet & artistic dance coupled with professional-quality performance opportunities

Community Projects & Award Highlights

  • Outreach performance for the Jewish Home of Rochester

  • Educational performances for Durand United Church of Christ

  • Outreach dance workshop classes for Syracuse Academy of Science Charter School

  • Lecture and demonstration at "Craft of Choreography" conference

  • Special Needs dance classes for several nursing homes in the Rochester area

  • 2016 Outstanding School Award (Youth America Grand Prix, Chicago)

  • 2016 1st Place for all ensembles (YAGP Chicago)

  • 2015, 2016 Outstanding Choreographer Award (YAGP Chicago)

  • 2015 Top 12 Placement at YAGP World Finals for ensemble piece, "We, Always We"

  • 2015 Top 12 Placement at YAGP World Finals, Olivia Bevilacqua 

  • 2015 Outstanding Teacher Award (YAGP Chicago)

  • 2015 1st place for all ensembles (YAGP Chicago)

  • 2014 Excellence in Dance Award, "Loudest Lack of Breathing" (Rising Star Talent Competition, Rochester, NY)

  • 2014 Rising Star Award, Emma Fernandes

  • 2013 Rising Star Award, Emma Fernandes

  • 2013 Excellence in Dance Award, Alyssa Milligan (Rising Star Talent Competition, Rochester, NY)

  • 2013 World Ballet Competition top 10 placement & scholarship recipient, Riley Bevilacqua

  • 2012 Rising Star Award, Steven Pitoni

  • 2011 Rising Star Award, Lauren Bakewicz

  • 2010 Rising Star Award, Brittany Touris

  • 2009 Rising Star Award, Laura Rich


Above is Odasz Dance Theatre's Laura Rich performing her contemporary solo, "Left in Leaves" at the Youth America Grand Prix semi-finals competition in Chicago, IL 2014. Laura was the recipient of the Scholastic Arts Spotlight Scholarship in 2015, accepted on a 10 month contract with Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company in Israel, and is currently in the conservatory program at STEPS on Broadway in NYC. She has been training at Odasz Dance Theatre since age 5 and danced as a Principal with Western New York Ballet. 

Odasz Dance Theatre's contemporary piece, "We, Always We" received 1st place overall at the Youth America Grand Prix semi-finals competition in Chicago 2015 and placed in the Top 12 at NYC world finals. Above are corps de ballet, soloists and Principal dancers of Western New York Ballet performing the award winning piece. 

Odasz Dance Theatre dancer Emma Fernandes, age 10, performing "Between Here and Earth." Emma is an apprentice with Western New York Ballet and appeared in the starring role of Clara in WNYB's December 2014 production of The Nucracker. She has won the top award of "Rising Star" 2 years in a row at the Rising Star Talent Competition (2013, 2014) and received 1st place for her contemporary solo at the Youth American Grand Prix Chicago semi-finals competition in both 2015 and 2016. 

Odasz Dance Theatre's classical ensemble, "Merlitons from The Nutcracker" received 1st place at the YAGP Chicago semi-finals in 2015. This piece is an excerpt from Western NY Ballet's full-length production of The Nutcracker. The dancers above are all aged 12 and under. 

Odasz Dance Theatre's Olivia Bevilacqua, age 11, performing "Slither" at the YAGP

world finals in NYC 2015, for which she placed in the Top 12 . 

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