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Sophomore finds a new stage

3 March 2013 By Daryllee Hale, Associate Arts & Life Editor No Comments
Becca Houseknecht turns down professional ballet career for college
BalletDancer001-Hazlett

Matthew Hazlett/ The Towerlight

Just two years ago, Becca Houseknecht was living in Washington D.C., away from her family, fending for herself in the world of professional dance. Houseknecht chose not to attend college after graduating high school, instead she danced ballet for a year, performing with Washington Ballet, a professional troupe. She was also featured in a documentary about young dancers called “First Position.”

But she wasn’t satisfied.

“Dancing professionally, you’re kind of just on your own. It’s very lonely,” she said.

Now Houseknecht is a sophomore at Towson studying health care management. She said that she fell in love with the major after her mom shared her experience as a health care management professional at Johns Hopkins.

“She’s a health care administrator and I shadowed her for a day and really liked what she did and went from there,” she said.

Houseknecht said after a few years she realized she didn’t want to pursue dancing as a life-long career.

“I just didn’t really like the lifestyle of being a professional dancer. Some people love it but it just really wasn’t for me,” she said.

Despite her early success, Houseknecht said she prefers the security that Towson offers, as well as the chance to relax and spend more time with her family.

“It’s actually been better because with dancing professionally, you don’t really have time to do anything else,” she said.

Houseknecht hasn’t given up her passion for dance completely. She now dances to a different beat with the Towson University Dance Team.

“This is more of like a camaraderie and everyone kind of pulling together…it’s great,” she said.

Rachel Petti, a junior mass comunication major and fellow member of the Dance Team said that Houseknecht visibly embraced the team mentality since she arrived at Towson.

“She blended right in from the very first second…and really makes sure that we all work together,” Petti said.

The TU Dance Team presents her with a different atmosphere and a different style of dance, so Houseknecht said she doesn’t regret her decision to leave ballet.

“I checked it off the list as something that I don’t want to do,” she said.

She said she hopes to inspire Towson students to keep looking for something that they really want to pursue. Houseknecht’s dreams may look different than they did before she came to Towson in the fall of 2011, but she said they’re exactly where she wants them to be.

“[I want them to] not be afraid to admit to themselves that their dreams aren’t what they thought they were,” Houseknecht said.

The TU Dance Team will travel to Daytona, Fla. April 10-14 in an attempt to win their 15th national championship.


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