Meet Brittany Hawes: A dancer who is scientific and artistic

By Michael Ruther
Photograph by Cheryl Anderson Brown

Sophomore Brittany Hawes is working on a double major in dance and biochemistry. In high school, she balanced an interest in science with her desire to dance professionally. Dance had been a major part of her life for a long time. In fact, she has spent 15 years dancing at Dancentre South in Woodstock where her sister teaches today. Brittany started dancing initially because of her sister’s influence, and she developed her own passion for dance as she went along.

Brittany learned of the dance program at Kennesaw State University when she spoke with Director of the Dance Program Ivan Pulinkala during her senior year of high school. The dance program at KSU held a number of benefits for her. She lived in Kennesaw and did not want to go too far away from home for college. When she enrolled at KSU, Brittany found that “it is like a big family. The dancers are more than just people I work with. We do a lot together outside of campus, and we’ve all formed a strong bond.” She appreciates the faculty’s open-door policy. “They’ve made it so comfortable, and they provide real-world opportunities,” she said.

According to Pulinkala, “Brittany is a promising dance major who excels as both an artist and scholar. She brings a great deal of focus and enthusiasm to her work, and she constantly strives to grow and improve.  In the past year, she was a performer in both the works that were selected for the gala concert at the American College Dance Festival.”

She recently performed in the Adumbration show and had performed at a dance competition during the Panoply Arts Festival in Huntsville, Ala. in which the KSU Dance Company won “best in show.” Brittany has also been cast as a “face character” for the Atlanta Ballet’s May production of “Don Quixote.” She said, “Dance is my number one outlet for stress—emotionally and physically. I take pride in it—it is my trade. Coming into contact with so many different choreographers and so many different ideas—it’s a beautiful thing.”

Brittany attributes her success to ambition, as well as to her growth as an individual since her enrollment at KSU. Her drive is not only evident by her double majoring, but also by the extent to which she seeks hands-on learning off-campus. During high school, she shadowed a nurse in a maternity ward, and she interned at Piedmont Hospital over the summer. This coming summer, she hopes to observe surgeons performing surgery. “I want to get involved as much as I can right now,” she said.

After graduation, she will pursue an advanced degree and a professional dance career and eventually get involved in genetics research.



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