Valerie Pignato grew up in Richmond, Virginia and trained at Jessica Morgan’s School of Dance and Marianne Kelley’s School of Dance. Additionally, she attended Thomas Dale High School’s Specialty Center for the Performing Arts in Dance. In the summer of 2014, Valerie was one of twenty-two selected out of the state of Virginia to attend the Summer Residential Governor’s School for Visual and Performing Arts held at Radford University. Upon graduating high school, Valerie attended James Madison University.
In 2019, she graduated Magna Cum Laude and earned a B.A. in Dance on scholarship and a B.S. in Elementary Education. During her time at JMU, Valerie was a part of the Virginia Repertory Dance Company, a pre-professional company. She attended the American College Dance Association Mid-Atlantic Conference and traveled to Richmond, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Raleigh, North Carolina, and London, England for performance tours. Valerie had the opportunity to work with several professional artists including Kyle Abraham, Gregory Dolbashian, Christopher K. Morgan, Matt Pardo, and Doug Varone. In May 2020, Valerie earned her M.A.T. in Elementary Education and will begin her teaching career in the fall. Valerie is thrilled to be returning home to share her love of dance with the students at MKSD!