JESSICA ABEJAR is the founder and director of The Moving Prayer as well as a dancer, choreographer, and instructor for the company. Since childhood, she has brought sacred and liturgical dance to different venues and events all over including the Youth Festival at World Youth Day, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; the Youth Festival at World Youth Day, Krakow, Poland; the National Catholic Youth Conference, Indianapolis, IN; the National Conference for Catholic Youth Ministry, San Jose, CA; the San Lorenzo Ruiz Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York, NY, before Cardinal Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, and Archbishop Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations; the Bicentennial Celebration for the Archdiocese of New York; Our Lady of Antipolo Feast Day at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC; the Sacred Dance Guild Festival, Erie, PA; New York Catholic Youth Day as co-host and special performer; the National “Preaching in Action” College Conference (a program of Dominican Youth Movement-USA); and churches throughout the world.
Jessica is an alumna of Dance/USA’s Institute for Leadership Training, completing a mentorship program under sacred and liturgical dance pioneer Carla DeSola. She is also a former member of Dance/NYC’s Junior Committee and participated in Gibney Dance Center’s Institute of Community Action Training. She is a member of the Sacred Dance Guild and participates regularly with other sacred dance groups, including the Trinity Movement Choir and the Church of St. Francis Xavier, both in New York. She has also joined many sacred dancers from all over the country at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress in Anaheim, CA. She regularly works with the Office of Youth Ministry for the Archdiocese of New York, heading their Archdiocesan Dance Troupe for New York Catholic Youth Day, and with Dominican Youth Movement – USA, teaching and presenting dance for their many programs.
Jessica began her dance training at a local dance studio on Long Island, continuing at Holy Trinity Diocesan High School, where she was part of the Trinity Dance Company. She graduated summa cum laude from the College of Mount Saint Vincent with a degree in Business and a minor in Performing Arts. She also holds a Professional Diploma in Meeting and Convention Management from New York University. She previously worked at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater as an arts administrator, BroadwayWorld.com as a dance writer, and Disney Cruise Lines as a performer. She also was a Youth Coordinator at the Chapel of San Lorenzo Ruiz and continues to write a youth column for “The Filipino Catholic.” In addition to her work with The Moving Prayer, Jessica is also a Group Fitness Instructor and Certified Personal Trainer through the American Council on Exercise and a certified POP Pilates Instructor.
For more information on Jessica Abejar and the many works that she does, please visit her personal website.