Isabel Jessica von Rittberg grew up in Wuppertal-Beyenburg, a small historical village in Western Germany. Her father is German; her mother was born in Montana. Isabel was raised bilingually. As a child, she danced ballet, played the piano and spent more time on horseback than on foot. Her summers in the Rocky Mountains instilled in her a love of nature. Isabel graduated with a BA in Latin American/Iberian Studies and a French minor from the University of California, Santa Barbara. There she also began climbing. In preparation for her senior thesis, Isabel spent a year in Santiago de Chile. While living and traveling in South America, she performed African-Brazilian dance and further developed her rock climbing skills. The grace of rock climbing captured her attention.
The urge to convey the beauty and fluidity of rock climbing led her to start the AscenDance Project in 2006. She has created a genre that unites climbing, dance and music, performed on a vertical wall. Since the founding of AscenDance Project, Isabel’s troupe has given numerous performances throughout the United States. After her appearance on national television in 2010 (America’s Got Talent) AscenDance Project has gained international recognition. The company is now based out of Boulder, Colorado.