Nateli M. Ruiz, a hispanic and St. Croix native of the U.S. Virgin Islands, graduated from Jacksonville University in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program for Dance. She has been dancing since the age of four, starting at Music in Motion then at the age of five, continuing her training at Pointe Dance Academy. Throughout her time at Jacksonville University, Nateli received several scholarships and awards for her excellence in the arts.
She has had the opportunity to work and take classes with the American Ballet Theatre II, David Parsons, Anthony Burrell, Chris Tucker, Vivian Green, Jamaica Craft, Akon, and many more. The opportunity to work with Debbie Allen twice was a dream come true for Nateli. First, through scholarship at the Debbie Allen Summer Intensive in 2008 and a second time in 2010, at the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade as a backup dancer for Mariah Carey.
Nateli also had the opportunity to participate in the ARCHCORE40 Summer Intensive in NYC directed by world-renowned choreographer, Jennifer Archibald. From the poll of 200 applicants, Nateli along with 39 other exceptional candidates were accepted into the program. Furthermore, she was selected to be a scholar at Gotta Dance Atlanta. Within a month of moving there, she was selected to be a part of the Xcel Talent Agency, run by Aris Golemi.
A pivotal moment in Nateli’s career was when she made her debut in her firstofilm "Bessie" featuring the talented actress Queen Latifah. The HBO movie was premiered in May of 2015. Nateli has recently been working with two professional dance companies in Atlanta. Gotta Dance Contemporary" and "Collective Dance Project". She rehearses with company directors Rachel Truitt and Lauren Debrick every day in order to prepare for upcoming performances.