Valerie Madonia started her training with Maris Battaglia at the American Academy of Ballet in Buffalo, NY and continued at the National Ballet School of Canada graduating in 1979. While at the National she was a recipient of the prestigious Peter Dwyer Award for Dance Excellence. She danced professionally for more than 20 years first with the National Ballet of Canada from 1979-1981 (under the direction of Alexander Grant), at American Ballet Theatre 1981-1986 (under Mikhail Baryshnikov) and at the Joffrey Ballet 1987-1997 (under Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino).
She began as a member of the corps de ballet and eventually established herself as a leading ballerina with the Joffrey Ballet. Madonia had the honor of dancing with Alonzo Kings Lines Ballet, Armitage Gone! Dance, Complexions Dance, Inc., Configuration Ballet as a company member and as a guest artist with Alaska Dance Theatre, Russian Ballet Theatre, Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet, Vilar Center, and at Le Gala des Etoiles numerous times in Montreal and Greece. She performed the role of the Princess in Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival in 2001 and with the New York Philharmonic in 2005, conducted by Alan Gilbert and accompanied by Pinkus Zuckerman. In 1995, Madonia began organizing performances to tour Southwestern Colorado with other professional dancers and established her own project based company, Alpine Dance, Inc. from 1994-2001. Madonia appeared in six PBS Dance in America Specials and is featured in four dance books, most prominently in, Classical Ballet Technique, by G.W. Warren.
In 1997, Madonia helped produce and direct a 5 year performance residency between the Joffrey Ballet and the Telluride Society for Performing Arts. The following year she produced the Washington Ballet, Momix and Rythmec summer residencies in Telluride as well.
She has been teaching for 21 years, served on the faculty at the New School University in NYC from 2000-2003, taught for the Joffrey Ballet School from 1996- 2004 and directed the Joffrey School South Workshop in Georgia from 2003-2010. She teaches biannually in Yokohama, Japan and is frequently a master teacher at The Four Corners Dance Experience and for the Regional Dance America Festivals. She is an adjudicator and master teacher for the Youth American Grand Prix. Madonia has been a guest teacher for The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Alaska Dance Theatre, Louisiana Delta Ballet, Colorado Ballet and Boulder Ballet.
She founded the Telluride Dance Academy in 1998, served as the Artistic Director and a teacher at the Academy from 2006-2010. From 2011-2013, she began teaching and directing the newly formed Palm Arts Dance. She currently serves on the Palm Arts Board of Directors. Her choreographic credits include a full length Cinderella, The Nutcracker, Polar Express, Appalachian Spring, solo works for the NYC Dance Now Festival, and for dancers in Colorado Ballet, Ballet West, Dayton Ballet and Boulder Ballet.
Ms. Madonia has been the Academy Director, Summer Intensive Director, Pre Professional Division Founder and Director at Colorado Ballet since 2013.