Rebekah dancing in the spotlight.

Rebekah’s Bio

  • Major: Dance
  • Hometown: Ashland, Ohio

Dance has been a big part of Rebekah Brown’s life since she was 8 years old. But it took an inspiring semester abroad to fully realize that her passion is on the verge of becoming her life’s work.

The streets of downtown Chichester.

Downtown Chichester in England.

Pioneering a new program in UB’s dance department, Rebekah spent the fall semester of her senior year studying at the University of Chichester in England. She also had the opportunity to travel across England, France, Italy and Slovenia, visiting old friends, making new ones and soaking in cultures vastly different from her small hometown in central Ohio.

“I had one of the most unforgettable experiences I’ve ever had while on study abroad,” Rebekah said. “I met people who changed my life, and I will always remember them; their impact on me has inspired me to embrace life, and see what I can do to change someone else’s life.”

So, while the study abroad experience broadened her horizons in many ways, it also brought her closer to her first love: dance. While in England, she joined the Chichester Collective, an extracurricular company run by a pair of lecturers from the university, and took four dance courses, including classes focusing on choreography and teaching dance technique. When she returned to UB, she continued down those roads, choreographing the department’s year-end show and serving as a teaching assistant for Jeanne Fornarola, her Honors College mentor.

“I will miss the family I have become a part of, but I’m also ready to move on to the next chapter of my life. My experiences here, and through UB, will stay with me forever.”

“I feel like I could tackle anything the world throws at me now,” Rebekah said.

Rebekah and friends.

Rebekah and friends.

Rebekah had traveled before—she had previously taken spring break trips with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship to repair homes in Alabama and Louisiana damaged by Hurricane Katrina—but this journey was different. It gave her a new perspective on dance and seemed to crystallize her thoughts on the future. After graduation, Rebekah plans to continue performing, but she intends to go to graduate school, too, with aspirations of forming her own dance company and teaching for a university.

“Well, my dream has always been to see my name in lights,” said Rebekah. “I don’t know when that will happen, but the journey there has just begun.”

Last updated: November 10, 2014 4:59 pm EST