Founder & Director; Instructor in Ballet
Natalia Alonzo-Brillante, was born in Bushwick, Brooklyn and began her journey with dance at the age of three. Her background includes extensive training in classical ballet, modern dance, and Flamenco. Her ballet teachers include the late David Howard, Marina Stavitskya, Michael Vernon, Anna Lederfeind, and Nancy Bielski. She studied contemporary dance at the Martha Graham School and has spent over 25 years of her career learning and performing the technique and repertoire of Isadora Duncan. Natalia trained in flamenco and classical Spanish dance with the late Jose Molina, Mariano Parra, and Liliana Morales.
After graduating high school Natalia continued her professional training at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance while completing a BA in foreign languages at Hunter College. Upon completion of her dance studies, she was invited to partake in the historic reconstruction of Martha Graham’s 1934 ballet “Panorama” in which she performed with the Graham Company for two consecutive seasons at New York’s City Center as well as the Spoleto Festivals in the United States and Europe.
Natalia danced with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet at Lincoln Center for 5 years in productions of La Traviata, Turandot, Tannhauser, I Vespri Siciliano, and Carmen. Her performing career also includes work with numerous local dance companies including Dances by Isadora, Catherine Gallant Dance, The American Bolero Dance Company, Danzas Espanolas, the Off-Broadway production “Flamenco Extravaganza” and Ballet Fiesta Mexicana, among others. Some of her favorite performance memories are dancing in the great outdoors at Jacob’s Pillow, Lincoln Center Outdoors, Bethesda Fountain Terrace, Historic Greenwood Cemetery, Prospect Park and The Yard at Martha’s Vineyard.
Natalia is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She began teaching in 1994 at Ballet Academy East and Discovery Programs in NYC. In 1996, at the age of 25, she accomplished her childhood dream of opening American Youth Dance Theater. Since then the school has undergone three expansions and continues to grow. Over the years, Natalia’s greatest joy as a teacher has been seeing children of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of ability discover the joy of self-expression through dance and music. It has been a special and joyful experience for her to witness students growing from the toddler programs all the way through the highest level classes, and seeing how involvement in the arts helps children develop into disciplined and dedicated young adults with a strong sense of respect for self and others.
Along with directing American Youth Dance Theater, Natalia has also guest taught and conducted multicultural dance performances and lecture demonstrations in public and private schools throughout New York City through programs including Young Audiences and Arts Connection.
Natalia’s favorite movie is the Japanese version of “Shall We Dance?” because it is about ordinary people discovering the joy of movement. She believes that if we all spent a little more time dancing, the world would be a happier place!
Fun Fact: My favorite hobby is gardening. 🌸
Global Footprint: Natalia is one of the co-founders of the SFDS Social Justice/LGBTQ Alliance at St Frances de Sales Church in Manhattan, working to promote inclusion of allpeople who are born into or called to the Catholic community. Natalia tries her best to live in harmony with our beautiful world by making environmentally sound choices in her daily life.