Born in Caracas Venezuela, Maria began studying classical ballet when she was eight at Nina Novak’s School of Ballet. At thirteen, she auditioned and received a three year scholarship with the Nacional Ballet de Caracas, under the artistic direction of choreographer Vicente Nebrada. At sixteen she won the silver medal at the International Ballet Competition in Trujillo, Peru and has also been selected for the third and fourth International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Missouri. The following year, she was hired as a principal dancer at Nina Novak’s Ballet Clasico de Camara and performed principal roles in many classical works including: Don Quixote, Coppelia, and Swan Lake. This intensive training led her to perform with the principal cuban dancer Carlos Acosta at the age of eighteen. Ms. Jimenez has had over twenty years of experience teaching classical ballet to children, adults, and professional dancers in Venezuela and South Florida and has been a ballet assistant of the Artistic Director at the South Florida Ballet Company for the last fifteen years. She is extremely excited to bring her many years of expertise and training to the FP Family!