The Vitacca Resident Artist Program (RAP) furthers our mission to stay current and grow with the ever evolving contemporary and modern dance forms. Vitacca’s RAP offers a holistic approach to dance training, artistic development and an experience in both a personal and professional environment with leading dance professionals. The RAP is designed to build relationships with influential industry professionals and bridge the gap between guest master teacher and student. Audition required.

Throughout the Vitacca season and over a pre-scheduled, five weekend commitment, invited RAP dancers will:

  • participate in choreographic laboratories
  • rehearse repertoire for performance
  • attend master classes led by Resident Artists
  • receive private coaching sessions by Resident Artists




jess Hendricks

Jess Hendricks graduated from the University of Colorado with a BFA in Dance. Her training includes Perry Mansfield School of the Performing Arts, American Dance Festival, Harvard Dance Festival, EDGE Scholarship, Gus Giordano and Hubbard Dance Street. 

Her credits include commercials and industrials for Godiva, L’Oreal, Reebok, Toys R Us, Universal Studios, Volkswagen and Warner Brothers. Jess worked on the tour of HAIR as Dance Captain for years, performed for the opening premiers of Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby and can be seen in such movies as Living Out Loud and Between The Sheets. She has danced in or been the assistant choreographer to the Elan Awards, Bob Fosse Awards, Ms. America Pageant, Carnival, Dance Break and Broadway Bares. Jess has choreographed the New York musicals The Shaggs, The Book Of The Dun Cow and Dead City as well as the movie musical Free Fall. 

She has choreographed the music video Just A Dress for the Berlin Film Festival, Mia Agapi Fotia for European artist Sofia Strati’s Eurovision and has been a finalist for the ACE Awards. Jess has taught at Universities and Festivals throughout Canada, Costa Rica, Cyprus, France, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway and the United States. Jess has danced with “The Wes Veldink Movement” and co-created her own company “Two Peas & A Pod”. 

She recently created live work for the band “A Great Big World” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, set work to be performed at Carnegie Hall and assisted with choreography for the Alicia Keys tour. Jess recently debuted a 30-minute work on Houston Met Dance that debuted this Spring. She is currently an adjunct professor at Pace University, on faculty with 24 Seven Dance Convention and a Co-Founder of Dancers Give Back Dallas.


Andrea Dawn Shelley photo by Peter Mellekas 3.jpg

Andrea Shelley

Andrea Shelley born in Miami, Florida, received her classical ballet training predominately from Magdalena Maury & Magda G. Auñon. Ms. Shelley received additional training at summer intensives and workshops with the Boston Ballet, Houston Ballet and Joffrey Ballet. She studied dance at the University of South Florida and holds a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Dance Education from Florida International University. Andrea began her professional career with Southern Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet and has since danced as a principal artist with Maximum Dance Company, Miami Contemporary Dance Company, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater and as a company member with State Street Ballet. Ms. Shelley currently dances as a principal artist and is a Co-Founding Director of iMEE Dance Company. Her repertoire includes original and previously staged works by Julia Adam, Jean Christophe Blavier, Maurice Causey, Paola Georgudis, Spencer Gavin Hering, Lindsey McGill, Michele Merola, Enrico Morelli, Paolo Mohovich, KT Nelson, Jerry Opdenaker, David Palmer, Yanis Pikieris, Daniel Rossel, Ivonice Satie, Leslie Scates, Ray Sullivan, Dominic Walsh and Jane Weiner.

She has received numerous awards for her dancing; including placing “third” at the National Society of Arts and Letters BalletCompetition, named “runner-up” for Best Female Dancer in South Florida for two consecutive years and being named Best Female Dancer in South Florida, by the Miami SunPost. Ms. Shelley was a Co-Founding member of the five week Houston Dance Festival: HERE & NOW, alongside iMEE Co-Director, Spencer G. Hering, Lighting Artist, Jeremy Choate, Hope Stone Dance & NobleMotion Dance companies. Shelley had the distinguished honor of serving as an annual preliminary panelist for the National YoungArts Foundation, YoungArts program in Choreography, Ballet and Modern for five consecutive years. For the past three years she taught as adjunct Dance Faculty at Salve Regina University in Newport, RI and assumed the roles of Resident Choreographer and Company Director for the University’s junior company.

Ms. Shelley is currently a guest teacher for various private danceschools/conservatories, Universities/Colleges and professional dance companies throughout the United States iMEE Co-Founding Director, Spencer G. Hering and Shelley are currently the Co-Directors of MandelstamDANCE in South Miami, FL. This opportunity provides iMEE Co-Directors the platform to share their love of ballet & movement with dance artists of all ages, as well as, implement their vision for training a well-rounded youngdancer. Mandelstam DANCE, the official home of iMEE, allows iMEE the opportunity to provide the South Floridadance community with Master Classes & Workshops with acclaimed guest teachers, as well as, monthly choreographic labs for emergent & established choreographers. Shelley & Hering recently founded, produced and presented soMi DANCE FEST at Mandelstam Theater in South Miami, FL, that will be an on-going annual event. "Bravo to Andrea Dawn Shelley and Spencer Gavin Hering, directors of iMEE, for creating soMi, a new and welcome addition to the dance scene in Miami. soMi DANCE FEST has now joined the extensive movement topromote & build dance in Southern Florida. Three companies were presented, making the evening eclectic, diverse and intriguing.” -Cameron Basden / MiamiArtZine

As a choreographer, Shelley has created original works for professional dance companies and festivals such as: iMEE, Ballet Florida, Miami Contemporary Dance Company, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, State Street Ballet, ODance, Ad Deum Dance Company, The Dance Gallery Festival, palcoscenico danza, METdance, Island Moving Co., the black box INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL THEATRE & DANCE, Festival Ballet Providence and Bellingham Repertory Dance. Her choreographic works have been presented throughout the United States and Europe; including California, Florida, Texas, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Washington, Italy, Bulgaria and Mexico. She has participated in Residencies and created original works for the dance programs at Sam HoustonState University, Salve Regina University, Providence College and Western Kentucky University. Her work Window of Appearances was presented by WKU at the American College Dance Association, South Conference in Auburn, Alabama. Ms. Shelley has received numerous awards for her choreography; including being chosen out of 250 applicants to have a work commissioned by the Dance Gallery Festival’s inaugural, “Level UP” in NYC, awarded as a “Finalist” in the 15th Annual Choreography Festival in Palm Desert, CA and being awarded a Grantee of a Project Grant for Individuals from RISCA (Rhode Island State Council on the Arts) for the continued development and presentation of her choreographic work “the secret of life is to fall seven times & get up eight” which has been presented nationally & internationally in Newport, RI, South Miami, FL, Plovdiv, Bulgaria and Mexico City, Mexico.

Ms. Shelley first began her relationship with Vitacca Dance Project, August 2013 and has continued to work and create for VDP annually.