Dancing through degrees: Valentina Giannattasio’s dual journey in marketing and dance at Rowan

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Valentina Giannattasio dances to many different tunes during her time here at Rowan University. She double majors in Marketing and Dance with a CUGS (Certificate of Undergraduate Study) in Sustainable Urbanism. Giannattasio is also the Health and Wellness chair of the Rowan Dance Team, the treasurer of Rowan Dance Extensions, a member of Alpha Psi Omega, the Theater and Dance Honors Society, and the Public Relations Chair of Beta Gamma Sigma, the International Business Honor Society. Giannattasio previously performed in the Main Stages of “Making Good Trouble”, “The Faculty & Student Choreography Showcase of 2022 and 2023”, “Exo-Skin-Esphere”, “Head Over Heels” and “Convergence.” 

Giannattasio started her dancing journey when she was three years old.

“Dance became more than just a hobby; it became an integral part of my identity. As I grew older, my passion for dance deepened. Around the age of 12, I decided that I wanted to attend college for dance. Since then, I started immersing myself in countless hours of dance classes, rehearsals, and performances,” Giannattasio said. 

Her inspiration for dancing came from her trying to challenge herself.

“Dance is another way of communicating, a way to express feelings and transmit messages through movement. My inspiration behind my dance comes from within, through the manipulation of space, time, and energy that dancing entails. Dancing provides me with the freedom to explore and discover myself, challenge societal norms, and connect with my surroundings,” Giannattasio said. 

Some dancers who had a significant impact on her work are Paule Turner, Leslie Elkins, and Leslie Bush, who all are faculty members of the Rowan Dance department. They helped her with their knowledge and feedback on the dance game. A memorable moment that Giannattasio had during her journey as a dancer was when she performed in the Exo-Skin-Esphere, which is a Rowan Main Stage Production. 

“This production consisted of a cast of 5 with a 45-minute-long improvisation score. This was one of the most challenging yet fascinating experiences I’ve ever experienced. Exo was also a collaboration with the engineering department, which provided me with an opportunity to explore how engineering and dance can be combined. After Exo-Skin-Esphere, I became a different dancer and performer. This production allowed me to strengthen my improvisation skills as well as improve my creativity,” Giannattasio said.

Giannattasio looks at feedback as a way of growing and improving on your current self. She said there’s always a different perspective that we need to consider. That feedback helps Giannattasio value positive and constructive criticism, showing that it can give her insight and perspective that she didn’t realize beforehand. 

Some advice that Giannattasio is based on growing, learning, and evolving as an artist and performer.

“Don’t be afraid to take risks and make mistakes, because that’s how the best ideas come to life. Trust the process, be open to receiving feedback, consider different points of view, and remember that dancing is an art form that aims to communicate something,” Giannattasio said.

A final message Giannattasio said about dance is that it’s for everyone. No matter what age or cultural background you have, dance can unite people.


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