Marissa Thomas is a dance artist currently residing in Cleveland, Ohio. Marissa is currently dancing with Dancing Wheels in Cleveland, OH for their 2019/2020 season as an Apprentice. She is a recent graduate of The Ohio State University (OSU) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and dual minors in Society and Environmental Issues and Nonprofit Management. Marissa graduated with focuses in dance performance, education, and community engagement. Additionally, Marissa is a dance instructor for the Creative Arts Academy Dance Mastery Community Program at Cuyahoga Community College and at Mayne Attraction Studios.
Marissa is a former company dancer for Hixon Dance in Columbus, OH and danced during their 2018/2019 season. During her time at OSU, she has performed works by Merce Cunningham in a MiniEvent directed by Daniel Roberts, danced in the School Tour Company directed by Edward Taketa, and has had many opportunities performing in student choreography. Marissa has also performed works by André M. Zachary, Jillian Peña, Marianela Boan, Pam Tanowitz, and Annika Sheaff.
Born in Las Vegas, Nevada, Marissa Thomas was first introduced to the art by community dance classes. At age eight, through the West Las Vegas Arts Center, she earned a full tuition scholarship to train at the Nevada Ballet Theatre, and in 2007, became a member of the Nevada Ballet Theatre Youth Company. After moving to Cleveland, Ohio in 2008, she enrolled in the Cleveland School of the Arts as a dance major, where she graduated from with honors. There she gained her modern training in Horton technique under the direction of Terence Greene and Aseelah Allen and ballet training under Kay Eichman and Erich Yetter. Throughout middle and high school she gained additional ballet training at the School of the Cleveland Ballet under the direction of Gladisa Guadalupe, and was a member of the Cleveland Ballet Youth Company from 2013-2015.
Marissa has had the privilege of working with Ohio-based artists and companies including GreeneWorks Project, Cleveland Ballet, Verb Ballets, Antonio Brown, and Robert Wesner; she has also had the opportunity of interning with Ohio-based dance organizations including DANCECleveland and OhioDance.