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Topazio says that the company dancers fully believe in the works they perform and that unity resonates with audiences.

“We don’t engage in anything that we can’t commit to authentically,” she adds. “I think that vibe comes through in what we do. Our artists are comfortable in themselves and in the work that we do — even if it’s pushing boundaries or going outside our comfort zone in terms of what we are used to or what we feel we are good at.

“We want to present a very professional and confident brand, and I think it kind of naturally takes shape in that way.”

- Interview with Marcia Luttrell, San Diego Union Tribune

Carly Topazio - Artistic Director and Founder


Originally from Millis, Massachusetts, Carly Topazio has served as Artistic Director and Chief Executive Director of The Rosin Box Project for the past five years since founding the organization in 2018. Under her leadership, Topazio has guided the organization from a $5000 operation to over a $500K organization, having officially incorporated to a 501(c)(3) in 2020. Throughout her tenure, Topazio has commissioned over 38 premiere ballets from local emerging to renowned choreographers from around the world, and gained the company recognition working with La Jolla Playhouse, and being featured at prestigious festivals such as Dance St. Louis’ Spring to Dance, and a presenting finalist at the Palm Desert Choreography Festival.


Committed to expanding dance’s vocabulary for all audiences, Topazio continuously promotes initiatives that make contemporary ballet accessible and welcoming to new audiences by activating untraditional spaces and emphasizing the genuine connection between artists and audiences. Topazio created and helped to further develop TRBP’s flagship arts-integrated outreach program, partnering with K-8 schools throughout the San Diego Unified School District and reaching over 3000 students. Additionally, Topazio has worked with the Conrad Prebys Foundation, California Arts Council, San Diego Foundation, and The Parker Foundation, and National Endowment for the Arts on the procurement and stewarding of grants and awards. In 2019 Topazio was recognized as an Emerging Arts Professional in San Diego by Rising Arts Leaders.


Topazio trained in classical ballet at Boston Ballet, and later at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet under Marcia Dale Weary, spending summer sessions at Houston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Ballet Austin, and Milwaukee Ballet. She has trained and performed internationally including a residency under Iratxe Ansa in Mexico City, IB Stage in Spain, ART of Forsythe residency in Madrid, Prague Masterclasses, and can also be seen performing as a ballet dancer in the Disney movie The Game Plan starring Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson. 


Topazio joined the Alabama Ballet in 2011, and City Ballet of San Diego from 2013 - 2020 as a company dancer, and has performed as a guest artist with Ballet Inc, Eglevsky Ballet, and Ballet Neo in New York City, and Golden State Ballet in San Diego.


She performed featured roles in notable ballets such as Twyla Tharp’s Bakers Dozen, Jiri Kylian's Sechtanza, as well as George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Allegro Brillante, Square Dance, Rubies, Serenade, Walpurgisnacht, Valse Fantasy, Who Cares?, Four Temperaments, La Source, and Raymonda Variations. Topazio has performed as a soloist and principal in numerous classical and contemporary ballets, many of which were originally created on her.

In addition to her professional dance career, Topazio has simultaneously pursued her other passions including photography, graphic design, and video production, and in 2014 started her own freelance photography business. Her work has been featured in publications such as the San Diego Tribune, The Voyager, Pointe Magazine, Peer Space, among others, and was named Top Ten Fine Art Photographers in San Diego in 2019.

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