Roberta Senn

Giselle_RobertaRoberta Senn grew up in Chicago, Illinois where she studied ballet with Edna MacRae, Richard Ellis and Bentley Stone. She made her debut in the NYCB Nutcracker when she was 13. Her first professional engagement in NYC was as a dancer in the original Broadway cast of Fiddler on the Roof where she worked with Jerome Robbins and Zero Mostel. She then went to Europe and danced in the Grand Theatre de Genève (Geneva Ballet), to Israel at the Israeli Classical Ballet and in Iran at the Iranian National Ballet, where she danced for the Shah of Iran and made an Argo-like escape when the revolution came.

She returned to the US and opened the Great Neck School of Dance in 1981 and founded the American Ballet Russe in 1991. Roberta has trained two generations of dancers including thousands of children, teens and adults. She is proud of the many students who have gone on to become professional dancers including the current crop, Ashley Hod (NYCB) and Isabella DeVivo (San Francisco Ballet). She also worked with figure skaters including Sarah Hughes (Olympic Gold Medalist 2002) and her sister Emily (Olympic Contender 2006). She is equally proud of all the beautiful human beings who have studied with her and benefited from ballet training. She also loves teaching adults her creation Ballet Body™ Barre, the original and real Barre Class. She has danced just about every major ballerina role in the classical repertory. Two of her special favorites are The Dying Swan in Israel and Kitri in Don Quixote on Long Island.

Roberta has a BA from the University of Chicago and an MA from Columbia University. She has had teachers’ training in the French Method (Paris Opera Ballet) and Bournonville Style (Royal Danish Ballet).