Name: Karissa Mollicone
Position & school(s): MHS Dance Teacher
How long have you been teaching? Six years.
Where did you go to college? What degrees do you hold? I went to Arizona State University, and I hold a BFA in Dance Education. I am currently obtaining my graduate degree through Walden University in Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment.
Any awards/accomplishments? Any claims to fame? I studied in China with ASU’s Dance abroad program; performed with Dance Arizona Repertory Theatre (DART); and I am also a certified Yoga instructor.
What’s your favorite part of your job? Being able to do what I am passionate about every single day and experiencing my students making discoveries in dance.
Why did you become a dance teacher? I became a dancer teacher because I want to share the art form with others and believe that dance specifically creates relationships and experiences that students may not find elsewhere.
Did you do anything else before you became a dance teacher? I have been a student, a dance teacher at a studio, a technical crew member for ASU dance shows, a server, a manager at a gym, and a substitute.
In your opinion, why do you think dance education is important? Dance education provides a creative and supportive atmosphere where students are encouraged to explore and discover their innermost thoughts and expressions. Through dance students learn not only content knowledge, but lessons in life, such as self discovery, perseverance, positive attitudes, and problem solving skills. Like myself, there are students who do not only want to, but need to move. Dance allows them to do that in a constructive, artistic way.
How has dance influenced your life? Dance has been the constant in my life that gets me through all the highs and lows. I couldn’t live without it.
Who is your favorite dancer? There are many. My college professors Mary Fitzgerald and Karen Schupp influenced me greatly; Travis Wall (SYTYCD choreographer).
What CD is in your CD player right now? My ipod is usually on shuffle with an eclectic mix, but I'm a big country music fan.
What are your hobbies? Yoga, hiking, stand up paddle boarding, running, gardening, cooking, traveling.
What advice would you offer to an aspiring dancer? Dance with your heart open and the rehearsal is never over; keep going because you WILL get there!