Rheanna Fontenot joined Lafayette Ballet Theatre in 2009 and was asked to join as a professional artist in 2015. As a second semester junior at University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the 20-year-old is working toward her kinesiology degree and graduation in the fall of 2018, with a concentration in pre-physical therapy.
During her eight years of dancing with LBT, Fontenot has had the opportunity to dance as the Spring Fairy in a production of Cinderella and the Marzipan Lead for The Nutcracker.
She attributes her success to God and would tell her 11-year-old self to, "Remain focused on God because He will direct you so you can bring glory to Him and to remain humble and focused on His work.”
A defining moment in Fontenot’s dance career came when shefully executed the complicated turning sequence for her role as the lead Marzipan in The Nutcracker, despite an ankle injury she had sustained several months before the show.
Throughout her entire dance career, she says that sacrificing leisure time has been a part of her success. She recalls having to give up attending small groups, forfeiting lunches with friends and even missing out on study groups to maintain her strict schedule, which involved classes with her dance company from7 to 9 p.m. throughout the week.
Throughout college her schedule has remained busy. Although the fall dance schedule, combined with course work, does not often allow her to attend football games, she does her best to meet up with friends to watch UL baseball games once she’s done with all of her other obligations.
She spends her off dayscatching up on school work, dancing and reading for pleasure.
"One of my favorite authors is Francine Rivers, a Christian author. Some of my favorites of hers are Mark of the Lion series and Redeeming Love,” Fontenot said. "If the author takes me on an eloquent emotional ride that leaves me pondering certain aspects of life, then it is definitely worth reading multiple times.”
As a self-proclaimed picky eater, Fontenot is also a Marvel fan and lover of Disney princesses, animals and romantic comedies. She says that her years of dance experience have taught her that, "Perfection does not exist. I have fallen on stage, but I picked myself back up and continued. There is no perfect dancer, but it is what we do with our training that defines us.”
Dancing is a huge part of Fontenot’s life which she believes has made her stronger both mentally and spiritually. While dancing as a Fairy in Cinderella, she remembers being unable to keep the smile off of her face.
"The elevation my heart felt was indescribable, but I was no longer focused on being the perfect dancer as I let go and danced for God.”
Music plays a big part in Fontenot’s life. She listens to a wide variety of music to suit various activities — studying to classical, rocking out to early 2000’s in my car, to K-Love and Air-one and Mumford and Sons to classic country. An interesting tidbit about her is that she was named after the Fleetwood Mac song Rhiannon.