Barbara A. Verlezza


BARBARA ALLEGRA VERLEZZA is an Associate Professor of Dance at Kent State University. From the University of Michigan she holds a Bachelor of Science in Dance Education and an M.F.A. in Dance. She danced professionally in New York City as a soloist with the May O'Donnell Dance Company from 1979 until O'Donnell's retirement in 1988. During her nearly 15 years in NYC, Ms. Verlezza also danced with the Joyce Trisler Dancscompany, Sophie Maslow, Norman Walker and Verlezza Dance (the company established with her husband Sabatino Verlezza). From 1981-1994, Professor Verlezza taught in the Adelphi University Dance Department under Norman Walker and as guest artist in numerous universities and private schools nationally and internationally.

In 1994, Ms. Verlezza relocated to Cleveland to work with (Cleveland Ballet) Dancing Wheels, a professional company of dancers with and without disabilities. She served in the capacity of Associate Artistic Director, Education Director, principal dancer, choreographer, faculty member and as Administrative Director.

Since 2003, as Associate Artistic Director of Verlezza Dance, Barbara and Artistic Director Sabatino Verlezza have taught community classes and summer intensive workshops in their own studio in Shaker Heights and with the Steffi Nossen School/Dance in Education Fund, NY. Since 2000 they have developed, directed and taught numerous dance programs for different populations, including the Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital for Rehabilitation and the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities (CCBDD). They were honored for this work with the 2008 CCBDD Inclusion Award and the 2003 Northern Ohio Live Achievement Award in Dance. Professor Verlezza was named the Dance Teacher Magazine Outstanding Teacher in Higher Education in 2005, a national honor.