Vanessa Terrell is the owner and director of The Pointe School of Dance in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She has extensive training in all styles of dance, and earned a B.A. in Dance and a Certificate in Entrepreneurial Management from the University of Iowa in 2010. Vanessa has taught all styles of dance to all ages of students throughout Iowa – her teaching experience includes dance studios, pre-professional ballet programs, and non-profit after school and community outreach programs. She has won multiple Best Choreography awards and has choreographed for school and community groups including show choirs, color guards, and theatre productions. Her goal is to share the physical, mental, artistic, and emotional benefits of a quality dance education with as many students as she can.
Dance has been an integral part of my life since I was three years old. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t consider myself a dancer. In middle and high school, I really struggled with my self-esteem, with body image, and with figuring out who I was and who I wanted to be. My family and dance helped me get through those times. When I danced, I felt like I accomplished something. When I danced, I felt like I had something to contribute, like I was worth something. Sometimes, on a really good night, I even felt beautiful. Dance helped me learn and embrace who I am. When I was 13 years old, after one of those really good nights at dance – and after a rough week at school, I got home and told my mom that I was going to go to college and earn a dance degree so I could have my own dance studio and give other girls the benefits of dancing. After I started teaching, choreographing, attending conventions and competitions, I saw some trends in the dance industry that don’t match up with the dance experience I had or want to give my students. I found YPAD and had to be a part of the voice advocating for safe, healthy, and positive dance experiences. Every child deserves to be protected, encouraged, embraced, and uplifted through their dance education – and I’m thrilled to be a part of YPAD. Through research and education, we can change our industry – and positively impact the lives of dance students around the globe.