Six years ago, professional dancer and visual artist Vanessa Salgado had a “pinch-me” moment. While in New York, she was contacted by an editor from Martha Stewart, who praised her artwork. “The editor encouraged me to explore illustration, especially for children’s books. Inspired by my craft-filled childhood and my love for dance, the idea of Crafterina was soon born.”
The Making of Crafterina
Crafterina is a storybook about a young girl who creates crafts to help her along her dancing adventures. Not only is the story incredibly adorable and fun, it encourages kids to create their dreams. Vanessa adds, “As a child creates dance crafts and dances from the storybook with their parent, they soon realize it is possible to bring their imagination to life. This read-create-dance process playfully encourages empowerment, teaching youngsters they have the ability to make anything possible.”
After earning her BFA degree in Dance Performance from the Alvin Ailey School in New York, Vanessa accepted professional performance opportunities in concert and commercial dance with CONTINUUM Contemporary/Ballet. While she is still performing today, she’s also a dance teacher! She has taught for the School at STEPS on Broadway, the Ballet Hispanico School, and is currently on faculty at the Joffrey Ballet School.
Now, six years later, Crafterina has been awarded two Maker Faire Editor’s Choice Blue Ribbons and grown to include five additional multicultural styles. The book is available on Crafterina’s website, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Etsy.
The Dancing Ocean – Free Download
We love Vanessa’s illustrations and were thrilled when she agreed to collaborate with our very own Evo and Bit to create something unique. Could this ballerina teach our bots to dance? Who better to bring the arts to the forefront of STEAM than Vanessa Salgado?
I often describe learning in dance as ‘tinkering with your whole body.’ From an early age, a child is challenged to make a connection between their mind and body in order to be able to make certain muscles work and movements happen. Although an internal investigation, it is done with careful instructions, years of dedicated practice, and constant problem solving. The human body is ever evolving! It is like learning to code in your own body! The arts and sciences run parallel because they are true reflections of each other. STEAM creates the dream!
Vanessa created The Dancing Ocean, an activity and free PDF download that uses Color Codes to teach Evo or Bit to dance. This STEAM activity advocates for marine conservation and comes with papercraft cutouts that transform your bot into a dolphin, shark, swimmer, and more.
Jump into your undersea adventure with Crafterina and Ozobot! Download The Dancing Ocean here.
When you’re done, share your creation with @ozobot and #OzoSquad. To learn more about robots and marine conservancy, check out our recent post Robots in the World: Underwater Bots Advancing Marine Research.