Arielle Catalina Bliss

Born in Medellín, Colombia and raised in Fairfield County, Connecticut, Catalina earned a BA in Psychology at Western Connecticut State University in 2011 and completed all coursework for MS degrees in Psychology and Criminal Justice at Central Connecticut State University in 2015. In 2020 and 2021, she received RISE scholarships to attend American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum’s Teacher Training Intensive for levels Pre-Primary through Level 5. ABT provided these scholarships to Catalina for her work as a social justice advocate and commitment to working with marginalized dancers, particularly with disabled dancers. Catalina is now an ABT® Certified Teacher, who successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum (NTC). She has over 25 years of training in ballet and has trained under Zimmi Coker (ABT corps de ballet & ABT NTC Pre-Primary-Level 7 & Partnering), Michael Cusumano (former ABT company member & ABT NTC Pre-Primary-Level 3), Rachel Zervakos (ABT NTC Pre-Primary-Level 7 & Partnering), and Jess Spinner (The Whole Dancer, former Louisville Ballet dancer). She is also certified in Progressing Ballet Technique, has training in lyrical and jazz, and experience with choreographing for and competing in regional and national dance competitions with ballet and lyrical solos. Catalina works with all dancers with emphasis on providing an educational experience that is respective of social justice and intersections of oppression. Catalina brings her perspective as a disabled Latina and her vegan ethics of compassion and harm-avoidance to her teaching to ensure that every dancer feels respected, protected, and valued in their entirety.

Catalina enjoys using her social media platform to advocate for social justice through a disability justice framework and to speak about the many factors that prevent marginalized dancers from accessing equitable dance education and advanced training.

Catalina is joined by her service dog, Chiquita Banana, who is a legitimate, task-trained service animal for a disability. Born in Alaska, Chiquita is tasked for several alert and response tasks and has logged over 50 hours of studio time since December of 2023. Chiquita Banana is half cocker spaniel, one quarter poodle, and one quarter golden retriever. Chiquita is Catalina's second service dog and is the successor to Sweeney Piffles, who retired in June of 2023 after 7 years of dedicated service work.

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Payment is due at the time of booking. Payment can be submitted via Venmo (@ariellebliss).

Appointments cancelled with less than 24 hours notice will be charged a cancellation fee equal to the cost of the lesson, unless there is a documented emergency.

Appointments can be rescheduled up to 30 minutes before the start time, unless there is a documented emergency. Clients will be responsible for paying for 50% of the appointment cost when rescheduling with less than 30-minutes notice.

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