Deanna is a fourth generation performer, starting with her great-great-aunts, who had a vaudevillian sister act, The Wilson Sisters. The legacy of performers continued with her great aunt and mother, and the phrase dancing "out of the womb" was made literal when Deanna's mother went into contractions with her while teaching a dance class. Deanna's first moment in the limelight was when she was born, as a group of medical students asked to observe the delivery. Hence, it is with no exaggeration when asked how long she has been performing and dancing that she answers, "Since birth!"
Growing up in Brooklyn, Deanna's first memories include rushing after school to commercial auditions and ballet class at School of American Ballet, while scarfing down Milano cookies and a banana on the subway. Other notable childhood memories include memorizing all the female lines from her mother's productions of 42nd Street and Oliver!, prematurely learning the meaning of the word "inebriated" while rehearsing sides for an audition, and accidentally pulling off the tail of the Mouse King in New York City Ballet's The Nutcracker. Several hours were spent with her sister at Broadway Dance Center, where they would peer through the observation windows of Frank Hatchett's class when not playing Cat's Cradle or tapping alongside their mother who assisted Judy Bassing. The two blondes were known by Hatchett as "The Girls!!!" and it was here that Deanna fell in love with tap and jazz and learned the importance of being versatile.
Deanna has spent the last two decades leaping from one genre to the next, from a play at the Sanford Meisner Theater to principal roles at the Kansas City Ballet to national commercials for Twix and Tide to graduating summa cum laude with a degree in psychology to scoring a principal role in Broadway's Phantom of the Opera. She has performed at Lincoln Center, The Joyce, Fox Theater, and City Center.
When not performing, Deanna can be found in one of her late grandmother's headscarves, sweating in Randy Skinner's class, singing songs from Tangled, teaching at Broadway Dance Center, checking out stacks of books from the NYPL, baking chocolate chip cookies, knitting sweaters, writing blogs, and wondering when she is going to take up painting again. Her best friend is her foam roller and her worst enemy is her love for running. An old soul, she is obsessed with the Golden Age, Ginger Rogers, crown moulding, and Cary Grant. Shameless hobbies include collecting Mason jars, ogling in the windows of Housing Works, and desperately searching for those hard to find apple fritters at Dunkin' Donuts.
One day she will write a play, take up the cello, and finally learn how to ride a bicycle. But regardless of where her time is spent, one thing remains to be her passion: storytelling.
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