JRA: Alumni: Vanessa Russo
As an alumni of Julie Rohr Academy, I was provided a substantial foundation in the arts, that has enabled me to pursue my professional goals in the performing arts and musical theatre industry. After attending Julie Rohr from nursery school through eighth grade, I successfully transitioned into a large public school where I confidently participated in extra curricular activities and maintained an honor roll average in the International Baccalaureate Program. While in high school, I was a member of the Superior Honor, National Honor Society, choreographer and officer for the schools Scottish Highland Dance Team among several other extra curricular activities and clubs. In college I was on the Superior Honor and Dean's List as well.
I found that the arts infused curriculum, acceleration process, small class size and one on one attention I received at Julie Rohr provided me with the environment that I needed, in order to excel in high school. Also, the experience of auditioning for the Julie Rohr Academy productions enabled me to be prepared for higher education, public speaking and the career path I chose in the performing arts. As a professional performer, half of your time is spent auditioning. I have been asked by fellow performers, choreographers and directors as to how I audition so well. Although I consider auditioning to be a free dance or acting class, I attribute my success at it from my early exposure gained at Julie Rohr. The experience of auditioning for the Julie Rohr Academy productions enabled me to hone my professional auditioning skills.
Currently, I reside in New York City where I am a professional dancer, actress and singer. Some of my credits include performing the featured role of (Sally Skidmore) in the Broadway national Tour of OKLAHOMA!, (ANYBODYS and JET GIRL) in the Broadway Asian / European Tour of WEST SIDE STORY, dancer in the RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR, and a featured dancer in the feature film (ACROSS THE UNIVERSE). I have travelled across the United States, throughout Europe and Asia and to five continents, performing in some of the most beautiful theatres and opera houses in the world. I have enjoyed the travel adventures along with performance opportunities I have had.
Attending Julie Rohr Academy provided me the experience with various Broadway shows as we participated in these full scale productions annually. I am aware that many performers my age and younger do not have the benefit of the experience that I received while participating in these classic shows at Julie Rohr. I feel this experience aided me with my professional auditions. My acting experiences commenced while attending Julie Rohr and I attribute my passion for performing arts at such a young age to have been nurtured in music and theatre while attending school there.
Involvement in the arts has been character enhancing and has provided me with a sense of responsibility. In addition, it has helped me to build confidence and self-esteem, which I use in my every day life experiences, advanced studies, work and leisure. The creative, challenging and family atmosphere of Julie Rohr Academy helped provide me with confidence and self-esteem which enhanced my personal growth and encouraged me to excel in my academic endeavors and professional career. Looking back, attending Julie Rohr Academy provided me with an opportunity for an exciting and dynamic life.