Jess Berto began her dance career right here at Ketchikan Theatre Ballet. At the age of sixteen she left home to continue her dance training at the performing arts high school, Idyllwild Arts Academy in Idyllwild, California. Upon graduation, Jess continued her education and dance training in New York City at Marymount Manhattan College. She soon transferred to University of Arizona where she graduated Cum Laude with a B.F.A. in Dance.
Jess is a former member of the professional dance company 7Dancers and a former instructor at Cherry Creek Dance, both of which are located in Denver, Colorado. She has also danced professionally with 3rd Law Dance and Evolving Doors Dance, both based out of Boulder, Colorado. Jess has also studied at San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Alvin Ailey, Dance New Amsterdam, Steps on Broadway, and Broadway Dance Center, just to name a few.
Jess has wanted to be a professional dancer since the age of 8 years old. The challenges dance present and the constant strive for unattainable perfection have intrigued her since the start. It was never in the plans to become a teacher because being on stage is where she felt most at home, however that's not what life had planned. Teaching has become just as great of a passion as performing for Jess. Sharing her greatest love with as many kids as possible brings an immeasurable amount of joy. There is also great reward in watching dancers achieve something they thought was impossible or something that was simply too hard just a few months prior. Last, but not least, the connection and relationships that are built between a teacher and the dancers is unparalleled. Dance comes with a lot of vulnerability and with that comes trust. Those two things help create a pretty amazing bond between student and teacher in the dance world. So no matter how many times she has to repeat the phrase, "pointe your feet!!!" Jess wouldn't change any of it for the world and is SO happy to be teaching at Ketchikan Theatre Ballet. The place that started it all.