CHIYOE MATSUMOTO DANCE DEVELOPMENT AWARD

Awarded to honour a respected dance practitioner / researcher and / or teacher who has sustained a strong reputation over many years and continues to work in the field of Dance in Education.

Elba Maria Kerr (Venezuela)
Maria is a practitioner dancer / choreographer / teacher / trainer / mentor, an inspiration to generations of young dancers, mostly girls, in Venezuela. After graduating in 1978 she has contributed in schools, universities, and theatre work, and has dedicated all her life to dance. She has worked across many styles including Classical Ballet, Contemporary, African, Rhythm and Movement, Cuban Classical, Flamenco, Cultural projects, and multiple Latin American styles. She has performed and choreographed many dance pieces at major events in Venezuela. Her dancers have continued supporting and developing the dance practice in her home city and also in countries abroad in which they have become dance instructors. In 2000 she opened her house and founded the ‘Escuela de Ballet Nena Kerr’ for 1500 students studying a range of dance styles. The school has expanded and is now well known nationally and internationally, bringing teachers from across the world to deliver at the school. The motto is ‘to train good citizens’ and it is open to anyone who wants to dance. 

Through dance she has helped many girls to dance careers and university scholarships. She has contributed for decades to the field of dance at every level and has touched and changed the lives of many.