Meet Rachel Michienzi - June Judges' Choice Winner

Thank you, judges, for choosing me as one of the Harlequin Floor Scholarship winners. My name is Rachel Michienzi and I am 17 years old. I have been dancing since the age of 2 at North Andover School of Dance in Massachusetts.

Deborah Lamontagne is the director of the studio and was one of my first dance teachers. My tap teacher for the past 4 years has been Leo Lamontagne who has inspired me and pushed me to be the dancer I am today, not just in tap but in every style. He has helped me to find myself and to gain confidence both as a dancer and as an individual. Along with tap, I also study ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, and musical theater. This September will start my 16th year of dance at North Andover School of Dance which has become like a second home to me. Others teachers at my studio who have inspired me and helped me to grow are Courtney Lapalme, Amy Stockton and Angela Vaughn.

I plan on dance being a part of my life forever. This summer I will be graduating from the Dance Education Training Course to help me to teach dance to other students and choreograph in the future. I would also love to join a professional tap company someday. I attend a vocational high school where I will be a senior come fall. I am studying dental assisting there and I hope to pursue that further as well.

This year and last year I was accepted into the Pre-professional Program of Tap City in New York, New York and presented with the Gregory Hines Youth Scholarship. Last year’s Tap City experience was a huge inspiration to me. People from all over the world came together to share the love of tap dancing. Dance has become an outlet for me. It is a way to forget about everything going on in my daily life and to express myself and my emotions. The way dance makes me feel and the joy it brings is enough motivation to keep me dancing forever.