Meet Simona Lucchi, senior in Kennesaw State University Department of Dance

 image of Simona Lucchi with hand in front of face
Simona Lucchi, above, pictured in Sean Nguyen-Hilton's film "I Have to Remember it Won't Always Be This Way." Image by Christina Massad. 

Double major senior to graduate with BA in Dance and BS in Journalism

KENNESAW, Ga. (Apr 20, 2021) — As a young girl, Italian-born Simona Lucchi was never really upright a lot of the time, somersaulting as a toddler, and swinging from the monkey bars as soon as she could reach them. Her parents quickly realized she needed an outlet, and enrolled Simona in gymnastics when she was six. She loved artistic and rhythmic gymnastics, and it was the center of her life until she started ballet. 

She explains that, at age 14, ballet changed her life. “I loved being in that class with its movement, and it changed my life.” Although she still loves classical ballet, she prefers modern dance, as it “allows for a lot more expression.” 

The decision to get a dual degree in journalism and dance at KSU was a marriage of her passions. She’s always been a writer and a reader—checking out 25 books at a time and then reading them all in three days—and the fact that KSU offered her a way to dance and write was ideal. She now believes that “dance and journalism can interact. In fact, I have started writing a few articles for ArtsATL about different dance events or personalities in the area. It’s super cool because I never thought I would be paid to write about dance.” 

She came to realize that dance and journalism “can exist in the same space” even though initially, she thought they were separate worlds. “I love both equally, so as long as both journalism and dance are in my life, I’ll be happy.” She may miss being on stage, though, as the highlight of her college career has been performing. 

During her freshman year, the renovated Dance Theater on the KSU Marietta campus opened, and Simona felt lucky to be able to dance on that stage, “to have a space that was curated just for us.” As a senior, she worked in production and was awed at the lighting possibilities and “loved every minute of being in the new theater.” 

She was in the Dance Theater often, dancing in “This Land,” her favorite piece, choreographed by Professor Andrea Knowlton. “The cast was small, and the story was about our relationship to the earth and the land, and the idea of taking better care of it, and owning it. We even danced to music by Johnny Cash, and I can’t say that happened so many times,” she laughs. She will also look back fondly at working with all of the faculty, including professors Sean Nguyen-Hilton and Lisa K. Lock, plus learning from guest artists and choreographers. 

image of two dancers intertwined

Image, above: Simona Lucchi in dance collaboration with School of Art and Design. Image courtesy of KSU Photography department. 

Lock said, “Simona is an exceptional student. Talented, smart and kind, Simona’s most recent achievements are the inclusion of her senior project into the Student Dance Concert as well as being named ‘Outstanding Senior’ by the Department of Dance.”

Even though her senior year has definitely been memorable, Simona will always remember dancing in “Moon Dust,” choreographed by Ivan Pulinkala, College of the Arts Dean and Dance Professor. “Moon Dust was super interesting, as it involved [KSU] Gaming and Computer Science. Seeing that piece evolve, interacting with the digital components was incredible. I was grateful to work with Dean Pulinkala, even though he pushed me very hard. Plus, ‘Moon Dust’ was such an emotionally charged piece, I would be crying backstage. Every time I watched it, I got chills. I loved being a part of the piece.” 

Her advice to prospective and current KSU Dance students would be to enjoy the journey. “College genuinely is what you make of it, and KSU Dance gives you so many opportunities to make the best of your experience. You can go to Israel, work with professors from all over the world, take dance for camera, and dance wellness classes. You have a wide range of options, and you will feel supported by the incredible professors. I am so glad I made the choice to come to KSU.”

--Kathie Beckett

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