Grace Weisman Oriel is a passionate performer dedicated to the transformative and healing powers of the movement arts. Grace began her studies in performing arts at the age of eight as an actress and poet. She began acting in Shakespeare plays with Karen Thibodeau’s Taos Children’s Theatre Company, in which she played such parts as Puck from a Midsummer’s Nights Dream, Pheobe in As You LIke It, and many more smaller roles and began writing and performing poetry. Grace received third place in the Taos Poetry Slam at the age of ten. When Grace was twelve she became the first young adult to join the Metta Theatre Company with Bruce Macintosh, and studied and performed with them for three years.
In 2004, at the age of fifteen, Grace moved to Santa Fe, NM and began dancing at Pomegranate Studio, and shortly became a member of both pre-professional companies Ahatti and Almaaz Assahara. By 2007 Grace became the company manager of the the Oriental Company Almaaz Assahara and also a professional company member of Mosaic Dance Co. Grace managed and taught at Pomegranate Studios for two and a half years, in which some of her responsibilities included running rehearsals, administrative management, costuming, performance coordination and teaching adult classes in both ATS Tribal and Oriental/ Egyptian Styles.
In 2008, Grace Weisman completed her AA in Business Administration at the Santa Fe Community College in Phi Theta Kapa Honors. She also was an active member of the Students for Environmental Education and the Student Government. Is 2008 Grace also became a certified teacher of the SEEDs (Self-Esteem, Empowerment & Education through Dance) mentorship program for young adults through Pomegranate Studio, and taught the Little SEEDs program for underprivileged children through the year. She then traveled to South East Asia for three months and then moved to the San Francisco Bay area to continue her studies in dance. Grace danced at Hot Pot Studio in Sacramento with Amy Sigil and UNMATA as well as attending numerous workshops with internationally acclaimed teachers such as Rachel Brice, Suheila and Jamila Salimpour, Zoe Jakes and many more. She also danced professionally in Oakland and San Francisco as a solo artist. In 2011 She became certified in Rachel Brice’s 8 Elem ents dance/yoga format at Datura Studio in Portland, OR. She then moved back to Santa Fe and created her professional company: Nataraja Dance Company, as well as continuing teaching and performing.
In 2012 Grace Received her BA from Goddard College in Individualized Studies: with an Emphasis in Dance Management and Therapy. Her senior study was a mentorship program for young adults that incorporated movement arts such as yoga, Contemporary Dance, and Tribal Fusion Belly Dance, as well as subjects such as: empowerment techniques, career opportunities, journal writting, and oriental-ism/appropriation awareness.
In 2012 Grace became the Wedding Cake Coordinator and Manager of the Chocolate Maven Bakery and Cafe. She is currently still working there and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her husband and inspiring two little boys. Grace continues her work through performances and movement classes, and intends to continue her studies by returning to school for a MA in Somatic Psychotherapy and Dance/Movement Therapy in the near future.