Finding Her Voice: Summer Program Student Faith Mondesire

Interview by Julianne Blunt, intern with the LINES Development team and a former dancer with the Sarasota Ballet.

Faith Mondesire, a Pre-Professional Summer Program student, spent her second summer at LINES this year. Raised in Brooklyn, she attended LaGuardia High School and is in her senior year at Purchase College, studying Dance and English Literature. Thanks to private support, she received the full-tuition Homer Avila Scholarship.

How does training at LINES compare to some of the bigger studios in New York?
Here, there’s more freedom and permission for the dancer to explore and find different ways of moving. We’re given the opportunity to really figure it out for ourselves – what is our voice, what is our artistic thing that we want to share with everyone else? It’s not that the East Coast doesn’t do that, but it’s a little more traditional.

What has it been like to work with Alonzo?
Oh, it’s amazing! Sometimes I feel a little hesitant, because when he walks in the room he demands the space and you have to respect that. He’s someone who’s really pouring into you, and you also have to pour back into him.

Faith Mondesire | Alonzo King LINES Ballet | ©Andy Mogg

What are your major takeaways from his classes?
Alonzo always says to fall drunkenly in love with dance. And I think at times you can lose that relationship. There’s days where you really love it and days that you’re struggling with yourself. How do I fall deeply in love with it on my good days and my bad days?

What are your goals for the future?
I want to get my masters in Education, be a professor, and teach English one day. But, my first dream is to dance. My dream company is Kyle Abraham’s; so I’ll audition and see what happens.

What impact has receiving a scholarship had?
It’s extremely appreciated and so helpful for a student in need of funding to
attend such a rigorous program as this. It’s imperative that students are given the opportunity to be able to attend intensives and truly work on their artistry.

Photo ©Andy Mogg

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