Born and raised in Carlsbad, California Vanessa Brooks had a passion for dance and movement since a very young age. Brooks grew up performing and competing in dance and has won several awards over the years, such as Solo Sweepstakes winner and National Champion. She was voted most “Well Rounded Dancer” at the Urban Jam Dance Convention. Brooks has danced and performed with the CHS Lancer Dancers, Future Shock, Culture Shock, Pulse Hip-hop Company, Unity Dance Ensemble, PAC Modern, and Malashock Dance. Brooks performed in the movie trailer “Dance Ten” by Johnny Smith, Maya’s music video “Like Whoa”, and in Super Bowl XXXVVII pregame and half-time shows.
Vanessa has had the privilege to train under multiple professionals such as: Tessandra Chavez, Tabitha and Napoleon Dumo, Brian Friedman, Mark Meismer, Susan McClain, a former Martha Graham Dancer, and Lorin Johnson, from American Ballet Theatre. In the summer of 2006, Vanessa received her Pilates Certification through B.A.S.I. with an emphasis on Dance Specialization, under the direction of Karen Clippinger. In 2008 Brooks, received her Bachelors of the Arts degree in Dance from California State University Long Beach. She has taught at many dance studios and college campuses throughout southern California, including Mira Costa College and Cal Poly Pomona. Her unique choreography has been featured by high school dance teams, collegiate shows, dance competitions, dance showcases, and musicals. Her choreography has won many awards in jazz, tap, contemporary, and acro. Brooks has also taught Pilates for multiple gyms, Pilates studios, and dance intensives/workshops, such as California Ballet.
Vanessa now teaches dance and Pilates classes for youth and adults in San Diego and performs with Malashock dance in her free time. She teaches at Coastal Academy in Oceanside where she is the Dance and P.E. teacher and at Crunch Carlsbad teaching Pilates and fitness. Vanessa hopes to spread creativity and inspiration through movement to her students and is honored to be a part of the Dance Unlimited staff.
Meet Vanessa Brooks
What inspires you most as an artist?
life experiences, other dancers and choreographers, watching my students improve and reach goals, traveling the world, and music.
What are the names of your top 2 iTunes playlists?
Barre 2016 ( ballet barre workout) and Mini Jazz ( jazz for kids). I categorize my playlists for classes.
If you could dine with any choreographer, past or present, who would it be?
Tough Q! Probably Michael Peters (passed away) who Choreographed Music videos "Thriller" and "Beat it" for Michael Jackson, who was a huge influence on me in my childhood. Second is Sonya Tayeh, she's amazing and would have some great things to say!
What is in your dance bag?
Healthy snacks, water bottle, first aid kit, knee pads, foot kit, muscle rub, hair ties, bobby pins, foot massager, and tons of different shoes.
What has been your favorite dance gig?
Even though I wasn't paid, dancing in Super Bowl XXXVII back when I was 17 was a memorable experience. I danced with my dance friend (Manny) from Dance Unlimited in front of Styx, Beyonce, Carlos Santana- who shook my hand while walking on he field- and Michelle Branch. Qualcomm stadium was completely packed, it was the largest audience I have ever and probably will ever perform for. We also got to have a costume change and go have fun on the field while No doubt performed during half time. Such a fun experience!