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Kinesiology Department

Alex Pandiscio, 2014 Hermance Winner and 2011 Brotzen Fellowship Recipient

Alex Pandiscio ‘14 is a recent graduate of our Sports Medicine program with a business minor and one of our two Hermance winners for 2014.  In 2011, Rice awarded Alex with the Brotzen Award, a fellowship that allowed him to study ballet kinesiology and Vaganova methodology with master teacher Judith Reyn in Vienna, Austria.  This gave Alex the opportunity to integrate his undergraduate studies in Kinesiology with his passion for dance education. He has taught for the Houston Ballet Ben Stevenson Academy, Greater Milford Ballet, Ad Deum Dance, University of Houston Department of Dance, Infinite Movement Ever Evolving (iMEE), Vitacca Dance Project, Hope Stone Inc., and the Uptown Dance Centre. 


Alex began his ballet training at the age of five with Jacqueline Cronsberg at Ballet Workshop of New England in his hometown of Hopkinton, Massachusetts.  He spent his summers training at American Ballet Theatre, Royal Danish Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet School.  Postponing college, he pursued his dream of becoming a professional dancer by taking a position dancing with the Houston Ballet, where he remained for seven years.  As a member of Houston Ballet, he danced in over seventy ballets, including featured roles in works by Ben Stevenson, Stanton Welch, George Balanchine, and Jiri Kylian.  

Following his time at Houston Ballet, Alex was accepted into Rice University.  His interest in teaching dance and a desire to understand the body from a scientific perspective prompted interest in the Kinesiology Department.  Alex worked under Professor Etnyre and Dr. Gibson as a teaching assistant. He also co-authored a published abstract titled, “Comparison of instantaneous and delayed feedback on an anticipation timing task" with Professor Etnyre.

Alex conducted independent study research at the Houston Ballet Center for Dance Education this past spring semester, under the direction of Dr. Rodriguez.  Through this independent study, Alex observed the Sports Medicine and Conditioning team to enhance his knowledge on current conditioning and rehabilitation practices at Houston Ballet.

Alex also finds time to be the Ballet Master at a local non-profit organization called Uptown Dance Company.

Alex has been accepted into the Teacher Training Program at Canada's National Ballet School where he will be learning their teaching methods while apprenticing under master ballet teachers. He also plans to research the school's unique conditioning program that includes neuromuscular re-education exercise designed by renowned functional anatomist Irene Dowd.

We are very proud of Alex and wish him the best of luck in all of his future endeavors!