Pre-Ballet Faculty, Lower Division Faculty, Upper Division Faculty, Adult Program Faculty
Rena Bernardini is originally from Somers, New York. She began her training at the Westchester Ballet Center, studying everything from Ballet, Modern, Tap, and Jazz to Flamenco, Hawaiian, and Bharatanatyam. She then went on to study at the Boston Conservatory. Later, Rena had the opportunity to transfer to the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in England, where she received her BA Honors degree in Dance and Performance. While abroad, Rena performed at the Royal Opera House. Additionally, she worked with English National Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s program, taking the professional development course and volunteering as a classroom assistant. Rena has also traveled to Mexico, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua with Juntos Collective to teach and perform in afterschool programs, nursing homes, orphanages, juvenile detention centers, and community centers.
After college, Rena continued to develop her teaching knowledge and skills through the ABT® National Training Curriculum program and is now a fully certified ABT® Affiliate Instructor. She has taught on faculty at many schools, including the Auer Academy and the New York State Ballet Training Academy. Rena also has significant experience teaching community engagement Classes, including public school residency programs and adaptive dance at Gigi’s Playhouse. Furthermore, Rena served as a co-director of the Fort Wayne Ballet Youth Company. Most Recently, Rena has completed her master’s degree in Arts Administration with a thesis centered on improving mental health within the ballet world.
As a professional dancer, Rena has danced with the Ballet Theater of Maryland, Fort Wayne Ballet, and New York State Ballet. She has been featured in many ballets, some of which include Coppélia (Lead Hour Soloist & Swanhilda’s Friend), Cinderella (Stepsister & Autumn Fairy), Paquita (Pas de Trois), and The Sleeping Beauty (Carabosse & Princess Florine). Rena has most enjoyed performing in Gerald Arpino’s Birthday Variations and Light Rain. Additionally, Rena performed Dew Drop Fairy as a guest artist for The Nutcracker at West Point’s Eisenhower Hall.