Chelsea Zeffiro is a contemporary dance artist based in Southern California specializing in experimental & collaborative performance. She is co-founder of Borderland Dance, a dance media production company – through which she directs and curates 40 NORTH Fest, San Diego’s first annual dance film festival (est. 2015). Also under Borderland, Zeffiro directs Take Your Place (TYP) – an international dance documentary project – conducting and filming impromptu/site-sensitive movement interviews with contemporary dance artists from around the globe. For TYP, Zeffiro serves as a diplomat for the Global Dance Initiative and was the 2014 awardee of the Make It Happen competition for women – receiving sponsorship from Schick/Skintimate. Zeffiro is the 2016 Bronze Medalist at the Vienna International Ballet Experience for her solo performance, Schubert Project Vol. 1, No. 1 (chor. Haylee Nichele), granting her the opportunity to perform in the Vienna Int'l Ballet Gala. Zeffiro recently co-directed & choreographed California Living Project II: Palo Alto – a multi-channel, site-specific collaboration with visual artist, Nate Page and the community of Greenmeadow, Palo Alto – mixing film, dance & architecture & creating impromptu, collaborative performances with neighborhood residents inside their homes. She is currently in her fourth year as a company member & soloist with Blythe Barton Dance. As of Fall 2017, Zeffiro was selected to serve on the San Diego Dance Connect steering committee, helping provide resources and opportunities to strengthen and empower the dance community of San Diego, CA. As of 2018, Zeffiro received a Dance Fellowship, being accepted into the inaugural cohort for the MFA in Dance program at University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA; in March of this year she also won the Grand Prize: "Most Compelling Choreography" award at San Diego Dance Theater's Young Choreographer's Showcase and Prize 2018 for a duet she both choreographed and performed – "Rooting for You" – an excerpt of a larger work in development titled: Basic Conceptual Cheerleading – with collaborator/partner Angel Acuña.
After receiving pre-professional training from the California Ballet School and Marymount Manhattan College, Zeffiro earned a bachelor of arts in Comparative Literature and French from the University of Southern California. Subsequently, Zeffiro held positions as an intern at Warner Bros. in pre-production (Langley Park Pictures, Carousel Prods.) and later, as an assistant curator in Paris, France (LA Chez Vous – Mains d’Oeuvres). Upon returning to a career in concert dance, Chelsea has had the privilege of performing in festivals and productions such as Performática, Made in L.A., YouTurn, American Dance Festival's Int'l Choreographers Residency, Night on Broadway Los Angeles, Dance Camera West, Live Arts Fest, San Diego Int'l Fringe Festival, Emc x BD Emerging Choreographers Festival, Mingei Int'l Museum's Avant-Garde Costume Gala, as well as San Diego Dance Theater’s site-specific, Trolley Dances. As a guest artist, Zeffiro has danced for Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company as well as Jmy James Kidd's Sunland Dancers and has performed original works by independent choreographers such as: Jesse Zaritt, Zaquia Salinas, Mitchum Todd, Haylee Nichele, Jaime Nixon, Liv Isaacs-Nollet & Aurora Lagatutta. Zeffiro regularly collaborates with visual artists: Rachel Mason, Jay Lizo and Nate Page–contributing project-sensitive movement and performances that have taken place at arts venues including: LTD Gallery, Human Resources LA, Pico Union Project, HM157, Los Globos & the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, CA. Zeffiro has been featured numerous times on StandardVision’s L.A. Live media facade, dancing both choreography (Blythe Barton Dance) and improvisation for camera. She continues to explore the boundaries of performance through cross-disciplinary collaboration–researching, making and participating in works designed to be performed both inside and outside of the theater. Recent performances include: Under Construction a physical theater piece written by Charles Mee, dir. Scott Feldsher (Sledgehammer Theater/La Jolla Playhouse) performed October 2017 at the Without Walls (WOW) Festival, followed by a series of site-specific performances with Blythe Barton Dance in collaboration with the Old Globe Theater's Romeo & Juliet on November '17 in Balboa Park, San Diego. In February 2018, Zeffiro had the pleasure of performing in the play Dust by Danielle Mohlman as part of the Bill and Judy Garrett Finish Line Commission for Cygnet Theater. In March of 2018, Zeffiro was awarded the top prize at San Diego Dance Theatre's Young Choreographers' Showcase & Prize for dance-makers under 30. She is currently working with choreographer, Zaquia Salinas on a solo which will premiere at the Performática Festival at Universidad de las Américas in Puebla, Mexico in March 2018.