Since she began dancing at the age of 5, Maria Verdeja has had a passion not only for dancing but for sharing her talents and love of the arts with others. “It is the goal of our studio to help our students grow both artistically and personally. Teaching them that their dreams can come true and happiness can be achieved by loving and sharing our gift of dance with others.”
Maria was born in Miami, FL. She was trained in Miami and it was immediately obvious that she exhibited a special talent for dance and performing. Throughout her youth, she attended various prestigious dance schools and received numerous scholarships. Among those schools she attended are: American Ballet Theater, Boston School of Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Washington Ballet and Houston Ballet.
At the young age of 16, she participated in the National Ballet Competition (“NARBA” now USA IBC) where she was awarded a full scholarship for her outstanding choreography and the opportunity to dance with one of the country’s leading choreographers Lynn Taylor Corbet. In 1983, Maria competed at the international dance competition in Prix de Lausanne, Switzerland. As a finalist, she was the only one of over 2,000 dancers to represent the United States in the finals.
In 1983, Maria was offered 13 scholarships throughout the US for her outstanding dancing technique. She chose to study at the University of Miami where she obtained Bachelors in Education with a Major in Dance in under 3 years. Upon graduation, she was chosen by Edward Villela to be part of the founding 19 company members of the Miami City Ballet where she was a company member for 2 years. During that time, she performed in various roles including Balanchine’s famous “Waltz Fantasies,” “Concerto Baroque,” and “Allegro Brillante.”
For the past 30 years, Maria has been the Artistic Director of Maria Verdeja School of the Arts, where she has seen over 10,000 students come through her doors. She now operates four different studio locations throughout South Florida, with an outstanding staff of professional dance teachers and directors.
Today the School of the Arts continues to dedicate itself to excellence in education for children, as well as focusing on training the MVSA team dancers who are winners at National competitive levels.