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Celeste Lanuza

Temporary Lecturer in Dance - Ballet, Contemporary, Flamenco, and Jazz: Improvisation & Play


Celeste Lanuza (she/ella) is a creative performing artist and scholar who uses dance theater and original/live music as tools to empower and build community. As a current scholarship recipient PhD Candidate in Dance, she brings rigor and dedication to access and equity in production, direction, and choreography stemming from aspects such as healing, preservation, and engaging through interdisciplinary outlets that bring unity. 

As a current resident of LA, she was recently honored with an award from the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs called Dance in the Districts which funded a dance film that spoke to the resilience of women and the impact of ancestral strength. Her original music and performance as a recording artist accompanied this piece. Lanuza’s film Breathe also premiered at the Southgate Museum exhibit Pinto Flores as a part of a celebration of LA Latinx Artists. Other choreography has premiered at film festivals such as Tribeca, Sundance, and Aspen in Huella on Amazon Prime. 

Local collaborations include Chicano Park Museum, SD International Fringe Festival, Nations of SD International Dance Festival, SDSU Calexico, Live Arts Fest SD Dance Theater, and SD Repertory Theater among others. 

Academic positions include full-time professor at AMDA College of the Performing Arts in NYC/LA, and Lecturer at Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Pomona, and Glendale College. Favorite Guest Lecturing has been at UC Irvine, Cal State San Marcos, SDSU, Fullerton College, Jakarta Intercultural School, and Inter-American College. 

Lanuza was mentioned in Dance Teacher Magazine for restaging Donald McKayle classic modern repertoire after she was approached by McKayle to stage his work.  

 Some creative work was presented at the NYC Fringe Fest, The Guthrie Theater, Cal State LA, Salvatore Capezio Theater, Gelsey Kirkland Arts Center, LA Dance Festival, Korean Cultural Center, Lula Washington Dance Theater, LA Live, Choreographers Carnival, East Meets West 3rd Annual China Int’l Festival, Arc Pasadena, Laguna Dance Festival, Brockus Project Dance, and Frigiliana Spain Dance Festival. 

 Lanuza collaborates with Engineers in Motion Capture finding exciting ways to mobilize the dance field. Her work in AI is mentioned in the Root & STEM magazine while she was a Visiting Assistant Professor Heading the Dance Department at Washington and Lee University in Virginia. 

Celeste holds an MFA from UC Irvine in Choreography where she held a full scholarship and a BFA from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia in Dance and Musical Theater under an Artist Grant. 

She has toured internationally as a choreographer and performing artist and flamenca in the film Fuego on PBS. You may have seen her perform at La Jolla Playhouse, Old Globe Theater, SD Opera, or Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Favorite performances have been Radio City, the role of Anita in West Side Story where she won a California Theater League Award, and several Broadway World and SD Union Tribune reviews. Her career as a performer has inspired her creativity and work in education to continue exploring innovation. 

As a speaker for USC’s Own It Conference and the Women’s Equality Dance & Latina Equal Pay Day at LA’s City Hall, Lanuza continues to speak up for underrepresented populations and elevate the performing arts as an opportunity for change. 

Lanuza was invited to interview for the TIME magazine on her work with Dance and AI and with a publication that covers her work in the December 2023 special edition TIME magazine on AI. Ms. Lanuza was also recently nominated to receive the award Visibility Program Grant by the internationally renowned organization Dance Camera West in Los Angeles with mentorship and funding for all of 2024 towards production of a new dance film. 

Ms. Lanuza is energized to join the UCSD faculty as a SD born artist to be a part of the revolution in innovating the potentialities of Dance!


Wagner Dance Bldg.