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Passion for Dance, Fitness Pushes Haslam Grad Forward

June 30, 2021

Alyssa Menavich (HCB, ’21) credits her passion for dance with helping her graduate from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business with a BS in supply chain management in May.

Dedicating hours of time to studio dance, a dance team and a national traveling performance company was a labor of love for the Fairfax County, Virginia, native who has lived in Knoxville since age nine.

“Dance was not always easy,” Menavich says. “It was extremely strenuous, with long hours inside and outside the studio. There were times when I wanted to hang out with my friends or travel, but I was committed to this sport and training.”

That commitment paid dividends. Menavich adored the Rockettes for their performances’ precision and effortlessness. When she learned they were holding a summer dancer development program in 2015, she trekked to Atlanta to audition. Thanks to her many years training and performing, out of hundreds of contestants around the country, she was chosen to participate.

For one intense and exhilarating week, she rehearsed in Radio City Music Hall with current and past Rockettes, learning true Rockette choreography alongside 30 other young women. The realization that the Rockettes train year-round for a one-month series of performances at Christmas was awe-inspiring for Menavich.

“It takes an insane amount of strength and rehearsal to achieve the precision that we see on stage,” she says. “I took a lot of what I learned back with me.”

Inspired by the hard work and dedication of those athletes, Menavich continued her dance regimen. While dance demanded from her commitment, rigor and rhythm, it also contributed to her work ethic.  

“Dance has taught me incredible life skills,” she says. “From an early age, I had to learn to manage my schoolwork, studio classes and dance team practices. Not only did I learn time management, but I also managed my discipline.”

Such skills applied during a project in fall of 2019, when Menavich was a member of a BUAD 242 group doing presentations along with other such groups to Pilot Company representatives. One group from each section of the class was chosen to present a finalized Excel workbook and findings.

“Our group was selected,” Menavich says. “This was an incredible opportunity for me and for our team. We worked extremely hard on this project, and we were rewarded for it.”

Although busy with her studies at Haslam, Menavich carved out time to participate in BOSS, UT’s dance society, in order to continue her passion. The BOSS team practices routines throughout the schoolyear, preparing for a set of March shows. In a time of pandemic, the troupe’s preparation was markedly different, but, as the saying runs, the show much go on. BOSS presented three shows at the end of March with a limited live audience and live-stream broadcast.

During the school year, Menavich also led rhythmic-based cycling classes five times a week as an instructor at Cyclebar. “My dance background inspired me, as a lot of what I do at Cyclebar is rhythmic and adds choreography with exercise,” Menavich says. “Like dance, cycling has become a passion of mine that I hope to continue doing for as long as I am able.”

Menavich recently accepted a position as an account executive with Arrive Logistics in Austin, Texas. Her past in dancing likely will empower Menavich to excel in her new role and to pursue any endeavor with discipline and precision. 

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CONTACT:

Scott McNutt, business writer/publicist, rmcnutt4@utk.edu