1273115743_Files-Word.png Worldancearound is a collaborative initiative involving artists from Los Angeles, New York, Brussels, Dakar, Monroviaand Amman, using various performative traditions of art education, social activism, cultural awareness, film, performance art, all in relation to street, traditional dances and Hip Hop culture. Using the worldwide web, Worldancearound (WDA) gathers socially conscious individuals striving for a positive free environment where expression becomes what our visceral and psychical systems need. In Three Ecologies, Guattari states: ‘I have invoked ethical paradigms principally in order to underline the responsibility and necessary engagement required not only of psychiatrists but also of those in the fields of education, health, culture, sport, the arts, the media, and fashion, who are in a position to intervene in individual and collective psychical proceedings. (27:2000) With community organizing, cultural exchanges, performances, events, and the spread of global Hip Hop cultural trends, WDA bridges gaps within the arts connecting various teachers, performers, community organizers and activists to create a platform for young artists to emerge and grow. Hip Hop Art education being the primordial goal of this initiative, WDA wants to encourage young artist to contribute in our society through multi-disciplinary art practices.

Vanessa ‘Neva’ Verdo is a NYC based dance educator, choreographer, performer, filmmaker, writer and activist who moved from Brussels, Belgium to Los Angeles at age seventeen to pursue her creative and artistic path.

Vanessa holds an M.A. from NYU Performance Studies Program where she was the recipient of a Performance Studies Tuition Scholarship . For her M.A. Vanessa focused on Post-Colonial Theory, Global Urban Cultures, Dance Studies, Critical Theory and Theatre History. Vanessa also holds a B.A. from UCLA’s World Arts and Cultures Department where she was awarded a scholarship from the Dean of the Arts and Architecture and ArtsBridge.

As an educator, Vanessa has over ten years experience teaching college, K-12, dance professionals and dance enthusiasts around the world. She actively teaches and performs various dance forms and has an expertise in Hip Hop, Bellydance, West African, Modern, World Fusion and Improvisation. While at UCLA Vanessa developed a curriculum through the ArtsBridge Program Scholarship called “World Dance and Global Consciousness” that has been taught nationally and internationally. The curriculum has been successfully implemented at UCLA, Loyola Marymount University, Santa Monica High School, Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio (CA), Tempo Dance School (Amman, Jordan), Centre Culturel Blaise Senghor (Dakar, Senegal), Crusaders for Peace (Monrovia, Liberia), and I.S. 291 Bushwick High School (NY). While traveling and teaching around the world Vanessa has always taken the opportunity to deepen her study of multiple dance forms and approaches, continually expanding the various ways a dancer can excel in the professional field of dance choreography, education and film.

Vanessa has choreographed for the stage, film, site-specific projects and classes. Her work has been represented in many theatres and performance spaces in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In addition to her own choreography she has worked with Franco Dragone, Brandon ‘Peace’ Albright, Jillina, Kaeshi, Amar Gamal, Dave Scott and Poppin Taco.

In 2005, Vanessa was selected by the European Union to help develop dance curriculum for European Universities. She has also co-organized Battle for the Belts (a freestyle dance competition), LACES’ exchange in Liberia, and UCLA’s Summer Program in Senegal.

Her interest in multi-media has lead Vanessa to direct two dance documentary films in Senegal and Liberia as well as many short ‘dance for the camera’ projects on social and cultural activism themes. Her writing has been published in the Zulu Nation Newspaper, the European Commission and Arts Bridge on the web and in print.

As a performer, Vanessa’s vast experience began in Europe when she toured with company Full FX at 15. She continued with Cirque de Soleil at 17 before moving to Los Angeles in 2000. She has danced with One Step Ahead, Soul Sector, the Get Down Dolls, Bohemia Dance, L’Esprit d’Afrique and Les Associes. Favorite mentors and teachers include Poppin Taco, Dante, Kevin Maher, Lollipop, Cricket, Brian Green, Nzingha Camara, Aziz Faye, Germaine Acogny, Amadou Kienou, Rennie Harris, Hassan Christopher, Boppin Andre, Swoop and Brother. Her work in the entertainment industry has dramatically increased her working knowledge of dance as a commercial industry and commodity. Upon moving to NYC in 2008 Vanessa began touring with two Theatre Dance Companies at over twenty universities in the U.S. and Canada: ‘Illstyle and Peace Productions’ and ‘Bellyqueen’.

What started as a commitment and passion for culture and the history of dance as witnessed in her thesis on ‘Global Hip Hop’, ‘The Feeling of Deep House’ and ‘Women in Hip Hop Around the World’ has turned into an enthusiasm about building an interdisciplinary program where dance practice and theory inspire students to successful careers.

Finally, Vanessa’s belief that life happens through human connections and experiences by never stopping to connect the dots allows her life to revolve around dancing…internally and externally.