Jenelle Manzi started her dance training when she was four years old. She began studying at the School of American Ballet in 1999. Manzi was featured in the documentary Living a Ballet Dream when she was 12 years old. The documentary was released with the Barbie in the Nutcracker DVD.
Manzi became an apprentice with New York City Ballet in December 2005, and joined them as a member of the corps de ballet in February 2006.