Samuel Pott founded Nimbus in 2005 drawing on a deeply held personal belief in the value that the arts can play in bringing together people and communities. Under his direction the organization has grown each year adding performances, new repertory and new community initiatives and projects. Known for creating structured and musical dances that evoke deep-rooted emotional connection, Mr. Pott’s choreography has been shown in New York City, throughout New Jersey, and across the country at venues including the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM Fisher), New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. His collaborations have included work with many esteemed contemporary artists working in new music, including composers Daniel Bernard Roumain, Samson Young, Judd Greenstein, Aaron Parks, and Qasim Naqvi; visual artists Nicola Lopez and Trudy Miller; and video artists Isabelle Duverger and Laia Cabrera.
A highly sought after master teacher, Mr. Pott has taught dance at the elementary, high school, college, and professional levels and has served on the faculty of Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. He was named to the New Jersey State Council on the Arts’ Arts in Education roster of artists. In 2012, he founded the School of Nimbus, grounded in the belief that dance can serve as a meeting point for diverse communities for growth towards common values and goals. The School makes high-quality dance training available to youth throughout Jersey City regardless of financial background. Mr. Pott founded and directs NimbusPRESENTS, a Jersey City performance series featuring local and national performers. Mr. Pott has received Choreography Fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts in 2008 and 2017 and was named a Distinguished Teaching Artist by the Council in 2012. Mr. Pott was one of 25 arts leaders nationally selected for the Association of Performing Arts Presenters’ (APAP) inaugural Leadership Fellows Program. He serves on the Dance Advisory Council for New Jersey Performing Arts Center and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee for ArtPride NJ and is a co-founder of the Jersey City Arts Council.
Nimbus youth Ensemble Director |company dancer
LeighAnn Curd, from Orange County, New York, began teaching and choreographing at the age of 16, working with young children in ballet, tap, and jazz at Marya Kennett Dance Center. Ms. Curd went on to the Boston Conservatory to take classes in pedagogy and choreography, further expanding her teaching and creative abilities. LeighAnn currently serves as the Rehearsal Director for Brooklyn-based dance company Inclined Dance Project. Since joining Nimbus Dance, Ms. Curd has had the opportunity to teach classes at both the School of Nimbus and the School of Nimbus+ programs. LeighAnn currently teaches Acro, Modern, and Ballet at the School of Nimbus.
Junior Youth Ensemble Director |company dancer
Victoria Santaguida, from Toronto, Canada, began choreographing at the age of 15. She received her first commissioned work in 2010 for Cawthra Park Secondary School’s Repertoire Company. Since 2010, Ms. Santaguida has assisted choreographers Davis Robertson, Roger C. Jeffrey, Gabrielle Lamb, Mindy Conto, and Dani Matte across Canada and the United States. Victoria currently is choreographing and teaching at The Dance Class in Ontario, Canada as well as teaching at Steps Ahead Dance Studio in Long Island. Last year, Ms. Santaguida was awarded Teaching Artist of the Year for The School of Nimbus. Ms. Santaguida is currently serving her second year as The School of Nimbus’ Junior Youth Ensemble Director, along with teaching numerous ballet and creative movement classes throughout Jersey City.
Teaching ARtist | JC Summer ARts director
Native of Paraná, Brazil and NYC based, Talissa Bavaresco is a dancer and choreographer with expertise in classical ballet, jazz, and modern, as well as in the theater and commercial world. She was the first Brazilian to graduate from Joffrey Ballet School’s Jazz & Contemporary Program on a four year merit-scholarship and furthered her studies for one year at the Scholarship-Apprentice Program at Jennifer Muller/The Works. Ms. Bavaresco has performed with dance companies such as Keigwin+Company, Joffrey Ensemble, Humans Collective, Jazz Ain’t Dead, TunanuT and KR3T’S; as well as independent works by Nicole Wolcott, Tyler Gilstrap, Gabrielle Lamb, Patrick O’Brien, Manuel Vignoulle, Mark Caserta, and more. Commercially, Ms. Bavaresco has performed live with Grammy Award winning artist Kimbra at the Park Armory Gala-’17. Ms. Bavaresco is the Artistic Director of her company ‘BAVA Dance’ (Bold Alluring Virtuous Artists), and her choreographic works have been presented at Bryant Park Contemporary Dance Series, DUMBO Dance Festival, Dixon Place’s ‘8 in Show’, The New York Jazz Choreography Project, JCE Jazz Dance Project, RAWartists, WAXworks, HATCH Presenting Series, Holi Hai Festival NYC, Uptown Rising and NACHMO. www.talissabavaresco.com
Giacomo Bavutti is from Moderna, Italy and began his training with Annarita Ronconi focusing on the ISTD exams of modern dance, completing the highest exam with "distinction." Mr. Bavutti has also trained in theatre dance, tap, improvisation, jazz, and contemporary. He has assisted Ms. Ronconi for many workshops around North Italy, teaching and demonstrating ISTD modern exams. Mr. Bavutti was awarded 1st prize soloist at Norcia in Danza national competition and 1st prize duet at the International Dance Competition City of Milan. He has danced for choreographer Kate Griffler, the Oniin dance company under the artistic direction of Alessandro Vacca and Daniela Rapisarda, and was a member of the Martha Graham 2 dance company. He teaches Modern at The School of Nimbus Dance Works.
A Jersey City native, Julia Marroquin began her dance training at 10 years old outside of Baltimore, Maryland. Ms. Marroquin danced with the Chesapeake High School Dance Company under the direction of Dyana Janoscak, where she honed her abilities, studying various techniques of ballet, modern, jazz, and hip hop. She proceeded to attend The Joffrey Ballet School in New York City in their Pre-Professional Jazz & Contemporary program under the direction of Michael Blake. While in this program, Ms. Marroquin earned soloist roles in works by Tyler Gilstrap, Jennifer Archibald, and Angelica Stiskin. Ms. Marroquin joined the Nimbus family as an intern in spring 2015 and previously served as the Assistant Director of the School of Nimbus.
Director of operations | company dancer
Justin Keith Perez holds his BFA in Dance from the University of Florida/New World School of the Arts and was Salutatorian of his graduating class. He has taught workshops and master classes at Daytona State College, New Jersey City University, New World School of the Arts High School, and Miami Jewish Health System. Mr. Perez has served on committees for the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Dance New Jersey, and Young Audiences. He was the Director of the Color Guard programs at Ocoee High School, New Smyrna Beach High School, and Rutgers University. He is an active dance educator through the The School of Nimbus+ outreach programs. Mr. Perez also teaches Repertory, in addition to STRONG and Zumba through NimbusFIT. Mr. Perez serves as the Nimbus2 Associate Director and the Director of Operations for Nimbus.
Assistant Director of Programs | company dancer
Hannah Weeks received her training at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Alonzo King Lines Ballet Training Program, the University of Iowa, and City Ballet of Iowa. Ms. Weeks has taught Ballet at City Ballet of Iowa and has served as rehearsal assistant for Victoria Simon of the Balanchine Trust. Ms. Weeks has taught Ballet and Pointe for The School of Nimbus Dance Works for 3 years; she also teaches Creative Movement and the Dance to Learn Curriculum in the Jersey City public schools as part of the School of Nimbus+ programs. Ms. Weeks serves as The Assistant Director of Programs for Nimbus and is a recipient of The Nimbus Award for Service Through the Arts.