Thomas Vacanti (BS in Dance, Skidmore College ‘02. MFA in Dance, Smith College ’04) is Professor of Ballet and Director of the Dance Program at UMass Amherst. In 2012, Tom received one of UMass Amherst’s highest honors, The Distinguished Teaching Award.
During his professional dancing career he toured extensively throughout the United States, Central America and Russia performing contemporary and classic repertory. He danced professionally with The Florida Ballet, Tampa Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Ballet Mississippi, Ballet Michigan and Ballet de Panama. He was one of ten dancers chosen nationally, by the prestigious Jacob’s Pillow, to represent the USA in their Soviet/ American Exchange Program. He worked with internationally renowned choreographers and teachers while performing extensively throughout Russia.
As a choreographer, he has presented work with his touring repertory company Vacanti Ballets at the Center for Performance Research in Brooklyn, Cape Cod Dance Festival, Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival, the North Carolina and Massachusetts Dance Festivals, The Provincetown EcoArts Festival, the Youth American Grand Prix in NYC, and the Peridance APAP Showcase in NYC. Tom has performed and created work internationally at the IUGTE Global Theater Conference (Graz, Austria), the EcceArts/Etchings Festival (Auvillar, France), and the Venice International Performance Art Week (Venice, Italy).
Tom is also Artistic Director of the Pioneer Valley Ballet in Northampton, Massachusetts.