Lisa Santiago Linger was born on the coast of California, but grew up in North Carolina where she found her love for dance at 4 years old. She was raised learning classical ballet, rhythm tap, modern and jazz at pre-professional studios around North Carolina such as Sandhills Ballet Theatre, High Point Ballet, and North Carolina Academy of Dance Arts, studying under professionals such as Galina Panova, Elie Lazar, and Gene Medler. Lisa also participated in several festivals through the NC School of the Arts. After graduating high school, Lisa went on to study Biology and Psychology at the University of North Carolina. While a student at UNC, she continued studying ballet at the Chapel Hill Ballet School. Afterward, during graduate school for couples and family counseling, Lisa taught dance classes through a local church ministry and was given an opportunity to be a dancer in a music video for Emily and Jonathan Martin.   After taking a hiatus from dancing to focus on a career in mental health, Lisa returned and founded Mental Health in Motion when she moved to Roanoke in 2017. Mental Health in Motion is supported by The Roanoke Ballet Theatre. Lisa is also a company member of the City Modern Ensemble.


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