Raissa Simpson, Choreographer and Dance Instructor
Raissa has had an extensive performance career in the San Francisco Bay Area dancing with Robert Moses' Kin and Joanna Haigood's Zaccho Dance Theatre, among others.
As a freelance artist, she danced with Lucas Films, Tori Quinn at BAPC, Alleluia Panis Dance Theater, Capacitor, Flyaway Productions, Liberation Dance Theater, Michael Mayes, and Peninsula Ballet. Along with serving as Assistant to the Director at Zaccho Dance Theatre, she is featured as a dancer in the film "Never Stand Still," at Jacob's Pillow.
Raissa founded PUSH Dance Company to present vibrant contemporary dances that provide audiences an opportunity to examine issues of identity and intersecting cultures that surround and affect us all. Raissa's pieces and site-specific installations have been performed at such venues as Washington Ensemble Theater, Black Choreographers Festival, Joyce SoHo, ODC, CounterPULSE, Dance Mission Theater, Evolve Dance Festival, Buriel Clay Theater, APAP/NYC, American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, 418 Project in Santa Cruz, Museum of the African Diaspora, and Union Square Live. PUSH has presented consecutive home seasons in San Francisco since 2005.
Raissa's PUSH Dance Company's teaching, speaking ,and guest choreography engagements include Stanford University, UC Santa Cruz, San Francisco State University, The Medea Project/ San Francisco County Jail, 3rd St Youth Center & Clinic, Valley Christian High School, Studio 10, Dance/USA panel, 20/20 Vision at Novellus Theater (curated by Marc Bamuthi Joseph), Social Media Summit, and National Dance Education Organization.
Raissa began training in San Jose, California at Dance Art Studio and later continued onto San Jose Dance Theatre, Cleveland Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and the Paul Taylor School. She received her BFA from the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase,