Kayleigh Pietrantone

Bachelor of Arts in Dance with a concentration in Dance Education
Class Year: 
Highland Heights, OH

What launched your interest in dance?

I don't know if there was a finite point that "launched" my interest in dance. I was put into dance at a young age, like most people who decide to pursue dance as a career. I began dancing competitively and was a four-year member, two-year captain, of my high school's dance team. Throughout high school I fell in love with performing and even attended a performing arts high school that specialized in college-level theatre acting. What I learned through that particular experience is that no other form of performing art fulfilled me the way dance did. During this time I was also introduced to teaching dance and saw Alvin Ailey American Modern Dance Theatre perform for the first time. After seeing Ailey, I knew that that style of dance was for me and I have solely focused on my dance training.

What are your plans when you graduate? What kind of career do you hope to have?

After graduation I plan on teaching in the public or private schools. I hope to be a dance educator in middle grades and to go on and get my Masters in either Dance Therapy, School Psychology, or Administration, but I have time to sort all of that out!

What is your favorite thing about the College of Arts + Architecture or the dance department?

The UNC Charlotte Department of Dance is a very special and unique place in the dance world. Coming in as a transfer student from another dance program, I can say that here I feel the most supported as an artist that I ever have. The emphasis on collaboration not only among peers and faculty, but between all the departments in the CoA+A is exciting and completely different than anything I have ever experienced. I am constantly challenged to see the world - dance-wise or otherwise - in completely new ways. The College goes above and beyond with opportunities that challenge you mentally and artistically. This past year I was able to not only attend but also present work at the North Carolina Dance Educators' Conference in Greensboro and at the American College Dance Association Regional Conference in Charlotte.  I also was given the opportunity to Stage Manage the Spring Dance Concert in collaboration with the theatre department. Also during this time, a group of students travelled to New York to view and experience the dance world there. I felt and observed so much personal and artistic growth in such a short time. The CoA+A has created this unique and very specific atmosphere where there is the simultaneous feeling that I can try anything and everything and be successful while failing at the same time. It does sound really corny, but in a field where experimentation is so critical, having the space, support, and guidance to do so is vital.

Do you participate in any community cultural activities or work in the Charlotte community?

I try my hardest to be involved in the community! I currently teach dance in a private studio and through that I attend a lot of community events with my students around Christmas time and also throughout the year. I also attend a local church and am working on becoming more involved there. 

When you are not in class, studying, or rehearsing in the studio, what do you like to do for fun?

I am quite busy most of the time, but when I do have some time to myself I love to practice yoga and read nonfiction story-type novels. Currently, I am working on finishing a biography on Cleopatra and am planning on moving onto one on Zelda Fitzgerald. I love hiking and traveling as well, but tend not to on my own. I am also planning my wedding to my high school sweetheart!