Associate Professor and Director of UMass Dance Program
Ballet Technique, Advanced Repertory, Technology for Dance, Modern Strengthening, SAFE Barre/Floor, Dance History
Thomas Vacanti received his dance training at the Festival Ballet of New York, Boston Ballet, and Skidmore College. He danced professionally with The Florida Ballet, Tampa Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Ballet Mississippi, Ballet Michigan and Ballet de Panama. He was one of ten dancers chosen nationally, by the prestigious Jacob's Pillow, to represent the USA in their Russian/American Exchange Program. He worked with internationally renowned choreographers and teachers while performing extensively throughout Russia.
Upon his return to the USA, he became co-director of The North Atlantic Ballet in Boston, staging and choreographing full-length ballets, and was also Artistic Director at the Academy of Performing Arts of Cape Cod. Thomas is currently Co-Artistic Director of the Pioneer Valley Ballet and the PVB Repertory Project in Northampton, Massachusetts. He has received many awards and grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Cape Cod Foundation for the Arts for his choreography and public school work and has choreographed for many theatre and dance companies. Recently, he premiered three original works at the North Carolina Dance Festival sponsored by the North Carolina School of the Arts.
Thomas holds a B.S. in Dance from Skidmore College, an M.F.A. in Performance and Choreography from Smith College, and a Certificate Degree in Costume Design from Boston University. In additon to UMass Amherst, he is also currently on faculty at Amherst College.