Tensia Fonseca

Founder and Artistic Director

Tensia Fonseca began her training in her native Costa Rica at the age of 7, learning classical Greek and folklore dance. At 9 she began ballet training with Margarita Esquivel (founder of the National Ballet of Costa Rica) and Margarita Bertheau (dancer, artist, designer, and costumier). Mrs. Fonseca joined the National Ballet of Costa Rica at 15, dancing many solo and principal roles. She immigrated to New York in 1945, where she studied with Andre Eglevsky, and later moved to Washington, studying with Mary Day and Lisa Gardiner. Mrs. Fonseca holds a teaching degree from the Cecchetti Council. She has been teaching ballet for fifty years and is the founding artistic director of the Maryland Youth Ballet, incorporated in 1971. Mrs. Fonseca has been instrumental in cultivating professional careers for many students. In May, 2003 she was awarded the Pola Nirenska Award for Lifetime Achievement, named Teacher of the Year in 2004 by Dance Teacher magazine and the 2005 Montgomery County Excellence in the Arts and Humanities Education Award.