Dance Alumna Alexandra Pernice Performing in North American Tour of Phantom of the Opera Friday, March 6, 2015
Meet Alexandra Pernice
Degree earned: B.A. in dance, 2008
Job title: Corps de Ballet and Meg Giry understudy, The Phantom of the Opera North American Tour
Hometown: Winter Springs, Fla.
Now living in: New York City
High school: Winter Springs High School
Hobbies/interests: Knitting, crocheting and hopefully learning to speak Spanish in the future
What's it like performing in Phantom of the Opera in Pittsburgh?
It's been surreal! I'm so fortunate that I landed a full-time position with Phantom and that the tour stopped in Downtown Pittsburgh. When I was a student, I walked to the Omni William Penn Hotel just to look around, and now I had the chance to stay there during our stop in Pittsburgh. Another thing that has been completely unreal for me is performing at the Benedum Center. I remember going there to see shows and now I'm leaving with memories of performing there; it's a feeling I can't describe. It's also fun exploring the city with my castmates. I took them to Pamela's Diner and Primanti Bros. and we had so much fun (even dancers like to indulge).
"I'm a huge advocate for Point Park's dance program because it teaches you to stand out and persevere. The program tests your tenacity and when you graduate you are ready to enter the professional dance world."
-- Alexandra Pernice
What's it like being on tour?
Taking classes, going to rehearsals and performing take up most of my time (and trying to get my taxes done). I don't have to take classes while I'm on tour, but I try to take a class in each city to learn new skills. It was great taking classes at Point Park because I got to see everyone. I also love being on tour because it's a great way to meet up with friends and family who live in different cities.
Tell us about some of your fondest memories at Point Park.
There are so many! I was injured my senior year, but it turned out to be one of my most memorable experiences. Because of my injury, I had to drop all of my dance classes for a semester but used that time to crank out my academic requirements and electives. What really impressed me was the support from my professors. Despite my injury, Doug Bentz let me take his floor barre class every day.
Another memory I'd like to share happened during my first year at Point Park. I was performing in the Byham show and had a leading role, I remember being scared and couldn't believe I landed the part. This really pushed me to work and train hard to become the best dancer I could be.
Who influenced you the most at Point Park?
Every single one of my dance professors has given me something that I've carried with me in my career. When I teach, I think about what my professors taught me. I'm a huge advocate for Point Park's dance program because it teaches you to stand out and persevere. The program tests your tenacity and when you graduate you are ready to enter the professional dance world.
What's your advice for a prospective student?
I think it's so important to continue educating yourself. The more you can continue to grow, the better. Go see shows, take classes and workshops, network and meet new people who will influence you. Often times I questioned if this was the right path for me, but everyone goes through that. Push yourself, expect it to be hard and you will be rewarded!