Mission Statement

The Children’s Ballet of San Antonio (CBSA), directed by Vanessa Bessler, seeks to inspire the pursuit of excellence and prepare children for productive and creative lives through dance by offering extensive training and performance opportunities for talented children from all backgrounds. CBSA will target a children’s audience to inspire, motivate and nurture the love and appreciation for ballet and the performing arts that children and their families will carry with them as future patrons of the arts.

The Children's Ballet of San Antonio (CBSA) is an authentic ballet company that functions like an independent, professional company. The CBSA will produce high quality performances with highly skilled children presenting spectacular productions that integrate multimedia and stage effects showcasing San Antonio’s most talented children.

Vanessa Bessler

Vanessa Bessler is a former principal dancer with the National Ballet of Panama. She started her dancing career very early and was a full scholarship student at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York, New York. Her training includes the Vaganova, Royal Academy of Dancing, and Cecchetti methods along with modern dance and jazz. Vanessa has studied in Panama, Panama; New York, New York; Havana, Cuba; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Milan, Italy; and Miami, Florida under renowned teachers including: Wasil Tupin, Angelco Yureska, Belinda Writes, Hector Zaraspe, John Magnus, Marek Cholewa and Elena Kunikova among others. She also participated in several international dance festivals in Argentina, Peru and El Salvador. Vanessa performed principal roles in Ballets including: Don Quixote, Paquita, La Bayadere, Raymonda, Le Corsaire, Nutcracker, Spring Waters, Flower Festival, Paris Flames, Dying Swan (from Le Carnaval des), and Diana and Action.

In her fifteen plus years of teaching, Vanessa has a track record of preparing successful students that have been accepted in professional companies and strong college programs. She also has prepared Youth American Grand Prix (“YAGP”) Regional top 12 finalists and award winners in 2013, 2014, and 2015 as well as having finalists and top twelve dancers at the 2015 World Ballet Competition. This summer, 5 of her students received summer intensive scholarships at the Bolshoi Academy, Orlando Ballet and other world-renowned ballet companies. Moreover, one of her senior students was awarded a full scholarship to study at the Bolshoi Academy in Moscow for 6 weeks.

Vanessa holds degrees and certifications from the following institutions: Master of Business Administration, Barry University, Miami Florida; Postgraduate degree in Education, Universidad Santa Maria La Antigua, Republic of Panama; Bachelor of Arts, Universidad Santa Maria La Antigua, Republic of Panama; Bolshoi Academy Teacher Certifications, Cecchetti Method Teacher Certifications, and Royal Academy of Dancing Teacher’s training. She also completed a Teacher Training program at the renowned Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy.

CBSA Board of Trustees

President :  Dr. Tim Bessler

Vice- President : Rad Weaver

Treasurer :  Suzanne Petrusch

Secretary : Daniela Serna

Board Members

William H. Atwell

Hon. Luz Elena Chapa

Camille Denton

Doris Slay-Barber

AnaPaula Watson

CBSA Founding Circle of Supporters

- Enchanted Dream Level :

Ana Paula and Mark Watson

Dance Center of San Antonio

- Sugar Plum Fairy Level :

Vanessa and Tim Bessler

- Clara Level :

Wendy and Billy Atwell

Ashley and Rad Weaver

- Waltz of the Flowers Level :

Joanne and Gary Lawton

- Glistening Snow Flakes Level :

Hon Luz Elena and Miguel Chapa

Monica and Neil Dalrymple

Karla and Lorne Phillips

Daniela and Antonio Serna, IV

Melanie and Robert Thomas

- March of the Angels Level :

Emily Aguilera

The Alvarado Family

Mary Ellen and Stephen Archer

Chirstine and Kevin Kelly

Kathryn Miller Therapy

Dr Malcolm and Jennifer Orr

Victoria Orr-Kirsch

Tracy and Jack Williams

- Corporate Sponsors & Supporters

Kiddie Park

Dorothy’s Dance Shop

Jefferson Bank

San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates

St. Mary’s University

Lily’s Cookies

Gulf Business Printing

Chapa Law Group, P.C.

Kids Adventure SA

Neiman Marcus

Dance Center of San Antonio

Joe Baker with Gabriel’s Wine and Spirits

Got it Covered Events

Texas Next Capital

Turner Street Productions

Community Outreach In Collaboration with The Dance Center Of San Antonio

- San Antonio Independent School District visits offered workshops to dance students and sneak peak of Children’s Nutcracker during the month of November inspiring 100 of students:

Lanier High School

Edison High School

Young Woman Leadership Academy

- Sponsored Children's Nutcracker guest community groups in attendance included:

Franklin Park Retirement Community

Boys and Girls Club

St. PJ Children’s Home

- Participated in Christmas Tree Lighting at St. PJ’s Children’s Home on December 2:

DCSA students and CBSA dancers Performing extract of Children’s Nutcracker