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BFA in Dance
"Brockport has great faculty members and facilities. There are so many opportunities to perform or choreograph. The experiences have made me a well-rounded dancer"
After seeing her first ballet performance in Toronto, Canada, Brittany Monachino knew at the young age of three she wanted to be a dancer. She first danced the role of Baby Babushka in the Nutcracker with the North Carolina Ballet Company and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra at the Eastman Theatre when she was just five years old.
Brittany, of Clarkson, NY, is a dance major. She also is a student in the CSTEP/McNair program and a participant in Freshman Council. Being a part of Freshman Council is very important to Brittany. “It’s a behind-the-scenes look at the College. Students get to input their perspectives and influence the future.”
She has performed at several dance programs on scholarship, including the Chautauqua School of Dance, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Steps on Broadway, the American Academy of Dance, and the internationally acclaimed Garth Fagan Dance School. She is a part of both the Strasser and Hartwell Brockport Dance groups. Brittany also has contributed toward the community, through her performances, book readings, and lectures at many schools and churches throughout Greater Rochester.
Brittany was the recipient of the 2008 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award for academic excellence, character, community service, and making a difference in children’s lives by exposing them to the world of the arts. The award was presented by St. Bridget’s Church in Rochester, NY.
One of her most distinguished accomplishments was when she and her sister Gabrielle performed at the White House last winter. Gabrielle performed on the violin while Brittany played Latin percussion instruments. The experience seemed unreal to Brittany. “I didn’t even believe I was there. I never thought I would be inside the White House.”
A person who has influenced Brittany’s education is her advisor Jackie Davis, professor of dance. “She encourages us to explore all of our interests—inside and outside of dance—to enhance our personal development as performers, as well as individuals. She allows us to really express who we are and embrace the fact that we are all unique, and that exclusivity is beautiful. Through working with her, I feel like I have become more assertive and proactive about my educational goals.” Brittany always has known she would receive her degree from Brockport. She grew up attending the College’s Dance Awareness Days, and several members of her family also have attended Brockport. “After coming home from studying in Washington, DC, it has been comforting to study in a school like Brockport, where excellence is cultivated and matured. The one thing that I will definitely remember when I look back on my experience at Brockport is the undeniable and overwhelming support and guidance that the students receive from the teachers here.”
Brittany is already looking ahead, planning life goals beyond graduation, including auditioning for dance companies and teaching dance to both adults and children. “For me, dance is a way of expressing a deeper part of myself that is difficult to express in words. It is my outlet, like another language, and the beautiful thing about dance to me, is that the language of dance is universal. Everyone has an emotion or belief they wish to convey, and dance allows me to do that freely. I want to reach people through the arts, especially people who have never before seen live art performances. The greatest triumph for me would be to be able to show them the arts and know that they enjoyed the experience as well.”