Stairway For Ballet Step Program Team

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Nan Venderbush
Connector Coordinator

My name is Nan Venderbush, I am almost 20 years old, and I am currently a Trainee with the Richmond Ballet. I grew up in NYC and studied at the School of American Ballet for 11 years. Growing up, I faced the myriad identity issues that are currently ingrained in the ballet world. As a queer girl, I sometimes felt out of place, struggled with my body image, and worked hard to try to find the balance between making my dancing stand out while still wanting to fit in with my peers in the studio. I am very passionate about breaking down the outdated and sometimes dangerous historical stereotypes that currently exist in ballet, and I am excited to expand the accessibility of ballet to any child across the country while teaching them that anyone can be a ballet dancer, no matter who they are or what they look like.

I wholeheartedly believe in the mission of Stairway to Ballet, and I am so excited to hopefully have the opportunity to expand ballet education to those who cannot afford it. I believe that taking ballet classes is an incredibly important opportunity for young children, and that it teaches essential life skills that they will carry with them throughout life, whether they pursue ballet professionally or not. And yet, there are so many issues in the ballet world including racial issues, gender issues, body image and body standard issues, issues of sex and gender, etc. and I believe that an organization like Stairway to Ballet is a wonderful way to begin to break through these outdated and dangerous notions in the ballet world by expanding the accessibility of ballet.

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Eleanor Green
Volunteer Coordinator

Hi! My name is Eleanor Green and I love to dance. I have been dancing all my life in various dance styles. In my free time, I love to choreograph. Dance has had a huge impact on my life and has shaped the person I am today. I hope I can help other children through this program find their passion for dance.


I joined the Stairway For Ballet Step Program Team because I love the mission. I think it is such a wonderful idea and love helping expanding the program and the organization. 

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Olivia Morelli
Student Coordinator

Hi, my name is Olivia Morelli. I have been passionate about dance since I started taking classes 12 years ago. Along with performing and competing with my studio, I am involved in teaching dance classes and I assist in a movement and dance class for disabled students. I look forward to working in our communities to promote equality and equal access in ballet!

I believe that we are currently standing at a turning point in human history; with each day, more people are finding their voices and standing up for long awaited social changes. Especially now as young people are finding their place in the world, we are demanding change and creating solutions. Ballet should be no different. Dance is a form of self-expression, and it is time that the art form reflects its artists. Stairway for Ballet is social justice and education in action, and I am proud of all the important lessons it has shared with the community. The Step Program is making strides to give access to ballet to all students, but especially those disproportionately affected by the high costs of classes. I joined the Step Program Team because I want to do my part in this movement. I know the importance of dance and the numerous positive impacts dance can have on one's life, and I wanted to put in the work to make sure others are given the same opportunities.