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Francisco's Biography

Master Teacher / Dancemaker / Artistic Director

Francisco Gella’s choreography, pedagogy, and teaching results are rapidly gaining notoriety by prestigious companies, schools and studios all over the globe. In addition to his role as founding artistic director of Francisco Gella Dance Works, he is the founding artistic director of COLABO Youth Dance Collective; an artist-in-residence for Center Stage Performing Arts in Orem, Utah and Dance Industry Performing Arts Center in Plano, TX; and is an independent ballet instructor & award-winning modern/ballet/contemporary choreographer for professional and pre-professional companies. Since 2012 he has served as the ballet master teacher for the 24 Seven Dance Convention gaining a reputation for renewing enthusiasm and respect for the importance of ballet technique and artistry in all forms of dance performance and training. The common thread that runs through all of Francisco’s choreography and teaching is his belief that dance is not only a physical manifestation of movement, but an art form with a spiritual and transcendent power to heal, inspire, and initiate reflection.

His earliest recollection of an intense curiosity for dance was watching Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies with his grandmother as a toddler in the Philippines. A few years later in elementary school, his first introduction to dance as a participant was hip-hop. But it wouldn’t be until more than a decade later after moving to the United States that he would take his first formal dance class (modern) at age nineteen during his freshman year at the University of Washington. Overcoming the challenge of mastering a new language and adjusting to vastly different cultural norms after immigrating to the United States with his family, he spent his high school years preparing for a career in aeronautics. Francisco entered the university as an engineering major on a full academic scholarship but instead graduated four years later with a BA in Dance. He has never second-guessed that choice and has never looked back. 

Entering his third decade as a dancer, award-winning innovative choreographer, master teacher, artistic director, and influential educator, he attributes the sustained success in his craft to his interdisciplinary and integrative approach. With eight years of training and coaching gymnastics; academic study in the arts, mathematics and physical sciences; experiential and formal training in kinesiology and physiology; dancing and/or teaching across virtually all styles in the concert (ballet & modern) and commercial (popular entertainment) genres; and a commitment to understanding and paying tribute to the historical roots of codified and cultural dance forms, Francisco is leaving a legacy. Because of this broad and deep foundation, he is a leader in moving dance forward as a multidimensional discipline with not only intrinsic spiritual value, but with value as an economic engine, a tool for teaching and learning, and a platform for social change.