Celebrating the Achievements of the NC State Dance Program Students

We are honored to have not only incredible dancers at NC State, but also incredible student dancers. We would like to highlight some of those students for special achievements.

Daniela Patiño-Zabaleta

Daniela is sophomore majoring in business administration and is planning to minor in both arts entrepreneurship and Portuguese. She is a member of the Panoramic Dance Project at NC State who started dancing at the age of five. Daniela has extensive training in Latin dance, Latin jazz, hip-hop, Afro-Colombian dance, and even acrobatics.

Recently, Daniela was awarded a $5,000 Fellowship Advising Office SUPER-Curricular Seed Grant for her work on her self-designed research project: “What are the Benefits of Viewing Ballet Form for the African American and Latinx Communities and How Do We Get Them in the Seats?”

Daniela’s project hopes to break the ceiling glass of the elitist nature of the ballet industry – from its audience to its patrons and sponsors – by developing a well-rounded, tailored marketing strategy that caters to a diverse audience… to African American and Latinx spectators, specifically.

“I am proud to say that I am in a unique position to conduct this research,” Daniela shares, “I have the experience of being a dancer, as well as of having a fierce ever-growing knowledge for arts marketing. Most marketers that work in arts administration enjoy, support, and love the arts. However, few are the marketers that have actually experienced the industry from the perspective of a dancer. I am very passionate about the topics that are being developed in this project, as well as I am eager to explore research for the first time in my undergraduate career.”

Artistic Director of the Panoramic Dance Project & Dance Lecturer Francine Ott expresses how much she enjoy being Daniela’s teacher – “Daniela’s passion, commitment, and drive permeates through all that she does.  She is continuously seeking ways to express her internal voice through dance, while integrating this mindset into every area of her life.  When people watch her move, they can’t help but be inspired by her vibrance and joy.  It is an honor to be her teacher.”

Visit the University Honors Program page for more information about the grant.

Madison Johnson

Madison is a sophomore majoring in political science from New Bern, NC. She began dancing at just two years old and trained competitively in several different styles, mainly contemporary and jazz. She studied modern dance at the Governor’s School of North Carolina in 2014 and is now a member of the NCSU Dance Company.

Madison recently received a 2018 ADF Summer Dance Intensive Leadership Tuition Scholarship in the amount of $1,045.

Dance Director Tara Mullins describes Madison as “an incredible dancer, student and person. I know she will contribute and learn so much at ADF.”

The Dance Program also celebrates three recent nominees, Maya Sturgies, Mary Afuye and Matthew Wright, for the Ebony Harlem Awards of Excellence in the Dance category.  These awards will be held on Sunday, April 28th at 6pm in the Mountains Ballroom in Talley Student Union where they will be celebrate their 25th Anniversary. For information or to vote please visit https://www.alumni.ncsu.edu/s/1209/16/interior.aspx?sid=1209&gid=1001&pgid=6059&cid=9864&ecid=9864&crid=0&calpgid=4820&calcid=7908.


Congratulations to all of these amazing student dancers!