Calleja Smiley was born and raised in Michigan, and graduated high school from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts as a ballet major. She received a BFA in dance from Alonzo King LINES Ballet/Dominican University of California, where she performed works by Margaret Jenkins, Sidra Bell, Arturo Fernandez, and Maurya Kerr. While living in San Francisco, Calleja had the pleasure of working with choreographers Janice Garrett and Charles Moulton and performed in Garrett Moulton Productions’ Speak Angels. Calleja relocated to NYC in 2017, where she has performed works by choreographers Shauna Sorensen (Shauna Sorensen and Dancers) and Sarah Foster (MoveWorks).

As a Gibney Community Actionist, Calleja performs and facilitates conversations about healthy relationships in school assemblies around NYC. Additionally, she creates her own work that explores the intersections between choreography, the written word, and natural landscapes. Calleja is also a Stott Pilates® Certified Instructor and Post-Rehabilitation Specialist, and enjoys teaching at Kinespirit Riverside in Manhattan.