Elissa is a graduate of New York City's High School of the Performing Arts where she studied Dance. After graduating, Elissa performed with the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble among other companies before turning her sights to Film. Transferring from Barnard College to New York University TISCH School of the Arts, Elissa graduated with a BFA in Film and Television with a major in Directing and Editing.
Elissa has taught Dance, Theatre and Film in conservatories and universities worldwide, finally settling in Hong Kong where she founded the non-profit charitable organisation Focus On Film, bringing workshops in creative expression through film making to children there. Focus on Film's mission is to provide children with high quality tools and opportunities to express themselves through the medium of film making.
During her time in Hong Kong, Elissa taught at the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts, The Gifted Young Dancer Programme and the City University of Hong Kong Department of Media and Communication to name a few. She developed several major film studies curricula for International schools, notably the Chinese International School from 2005 to 2015. She has taught IB Film Studies for several years.
Recently on sabbatical leave to write feature film, she completed several scripts, one of which was commissioned by Mirabelle Pictures.
Elissa comes to SOTA with her experiences as a professional practitioner, multidisciplinary teacher and curriculum and programme developer. She hopes to continue to learn and grow along with her students and colleagues in a creative and thriving environment for all.