Jessica Rizzo-Stafford is a native New Yorker and graduate of NYU Steinhardt's Dance Education Master’s Program; with a PK-12 New York State Teaching Certification. Her double-concentration Master’s Degree includes PK-12 pedagogy and dance education within the higher-education discipline. She also holds a BFA in dance performance from the UMASS Amherst 5 College Dance Program where she was a Chancellor's Talent Award recipient. Jess now works extensively with children, adolescents and professionals as choreographer and teacher and conducts national and international master-classes specializing in the genres of musical theatre, modern, contemporary, improvisation and choreography-composition.
Jess’ national and international performance career includes: The National Tour of Guys & Dolls, The European Tour of Grease, West Side Story, Cabaret, Sweet Charity, Salute to Dudley Moore at Carnegie Hall, guest-dancer with the World Famous Pontani Sisters and IMPULSE Modern Dance Company.
Jess has been a faculty member for the Perichild Program & Peridance Youth Ensemble & taught contemporary and jazz at the historic New Dance Group and 92nd Street Y in NYC. She was Company Director at the historic Steffi Nossen School of Dance/Dance in Education Fund and in 2008 traveled to Uganda where she taught creative-movement to misplaced children. The experience culminated with Jess being selected as a featured instructor at the Queen's Kampala Ballet & Modern Dance School. She has conducted workshops for the cast of LA REVE at the Wynn, Las Vegas and has been on faculty at the IDS International Dance Teacher Conference at The Royal Ballet in London, UK as well as the annual Dance Teacher Web Conferences.
Recently, Jess has served as adjunct lecturer to the Mason Gross School of the Arts-Rutgers University Dance Department and is a faculty member at the D'Valda & Sirico Dance & Music Centre. She has completed her NYU Master’s thesis research on the choreographic process of technically advanced adolescent dancers and is the creator of PROJECT C; a choreography-composition curriculum for the private studio sector. She is also Master Teacher & adjudicator for various national and international dance competitions.
Jess is the Chief Editor for the DanceTeacherWeb.com Blog and also serves as faculty member, contributing writer and presenter in the choreography and “how to” teaching segments on the celebrated DanceTeacherWeb.com.
Jess currently lives in Bedford, NY with her husband Chris & son Jackson Quinn.
For more info, visit her website at: