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Meet the Class of 2027!

Their stories are just beginning, but they’ve got big plans for their academic careers and big hopes for life in New York City. We asked first-year students to tell us about themselves and what drew them to MMC.


Name: Fifi Younker (she/her)
Major: Dance with a concentration in Body, Science, and Motion

Where’s home for you?
I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. Growing up, I was completely surrounded by music and incredibly talented dancers—the culture there is so rich and deep. It inspired me to do what I do!

What made you choose MMC?
I knew I wanted to study Dance in college, but I also wanted to find a school that would support me double majoring or having more than one minor, which MMC does. Then, I learned that MMC has a specific concentration in Body, Science, and Motion, which meant I could combine two of my passions, Dance and Science. I haven’t found another college that offers that same sort of concentration within a Dance major—it’s really incredible. Once I heard about the internships that BA majors get to do with Body, Science, and Motion, I was sold.

What do you like most about that concentration?
I think dancers should know what’s going on with their bodies while performing and how to use and care for them properly to prevent injury. It helps you understand how to be a better dancer and use your body to its fullest ability.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully, I’ll be dancing on Broadway. That’s been my goal since I was little. After that, I plan on doing something in the medical field—I’m still deciding whether I want to go to med school or physical therapy school.

Can you share an interesting/weird/funny fact about yourself?
I did my first show when I was seven weeks old! I’ve been dancing for a long time, but I’ve done musical theater for several years as well, and I got cast in my very first role as a baby. According to my mom, I never smiled in rehearsals, but I did once I got on stage, which shows, I guess, that it was already calling me!



Name: Brooklyn Merrill (she/her)
Major: Art History with minors in Arts Management and Art Therapy

Where’s home for you?
I’m from Charlestown, New Hampshire, a rural town with less than 10,000 people.

What drew you to your major?
It’s always been Art for me. I’ve done Fine Art since I was a little girl, and when I was younger, I thought I would be a Fine Art major in college. But then I took an Art History class and loved it. Art is also very therapeutic for me—I think using it to calm down is how it first came into my life, which is why the Art Therapy minor appeals to me. And since I’d love to own my own company one day, I’d also like to study the business side.

What made you choose MMC?
Out of all the colleges that I applied to, MMC stood out the most because they really try to immerse you in whatever professional setting you want to get into. I’m someone who likes to be prepared, so I value that. As an Art History major, I like that some of my classes aren’t held on campus but in museums and that you’re talking with professionals and going to art galleries and auction houses. That and location, location, location! I’ve always wanted to live in New York.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
I’m planning on getting my master’s. I’d love to do the master’s program at Sotheby’s; I did their pre-college summer program. But I’ve been told there’s plenty of time for that, so I may want to get into the workforce and find a job in my major first.

Can you share an interesting/weird/funny fact about yourself?
Ooh. It ties in with my Art History major, but I love antiquing. Just going to these big antique shops and looking for furniture, paintings, and decor from centuries ago is amazing. That stuff is usually expensive, but I did buy a mirror with a dry-brushed gold frame that’s incredible.



Name: Emmie Pack (she/her)
Major: Musical Theatre and Arts and Media Management

Where’s home for you?
Nashville, Tennessee, which seems big but has a very sweet small-town family vibe. The arts are so alive in Nashville, and there’s music all the time, which heavily influenced me growing up.

What drew you to your major?
I started as a singer—I would sing at restaurants and other venues when I was younger. Then, I did my first musical in Nashville with a regional theater company. I hadn’t known anything about that world but wound up loving it. With the acting and dancing mixed in, I felt like I could express myself even more than when I was just singing. I’ve always wanted to dive into the arts management side, too, so I’m happy I can explore that as a double major.

What made you choose MMC?
When I was auditioning for college MT programs, I broke my foot right before all of my callbacks. I still showed up with my crutches and boot, but a lot of programs basically shut me down. I felt so hopeless. But then I went to my MMC audition, and right off the bat, it was different. There was more of a workshop feel, like we were getting a taste of what classes would be like. Instead of a table of people saying, ‘Okay, you can start,’ it was a bunch of professors saying, ‘Okay, let’s work on this.’

And then all these current MT students came in, sat with me, and were so encouraging. They made me feel seen as an individual. Everyone was just so welcoming, especially in a time that was very uncertain and scary for me. And I think that’s why MMC is so special to me because they kind of just reached out into the darkness and said, ‘We’ll give you a chance.’

Where do you see yourself in five years?
I know for a fact that I’ll be doing musical theatre, whether in New York, California, Nashville, or wherever. I remember the joy I felt when I went to my first show, and I want to give that gift to others.

Can you share an interesting/weird/funny fact about yourself?
My jeep’s name is Barbie. She’s a white Jeep Wrangler but has a pink grill and pink interior, and the handles are pink. I love her a lot!



Name: Ca’Shara Crisp (she/her)
Major: History, with a minor in Theatre

Where’s home for you?
Denver, Colorado, but my family has deep roots in Louisiana.

What drew you to your major?
I’ve always loved History. I took International Baccalaureate (IB) History in high school and enjoyed doing the research projects. Plus, I’m a big mythology person, and a lot of history about ancient societies is surrounded by mythology. I also love how flexible the program is at MMC, so you can tailor it to what you like to do.

I’d initially planned to audition for the Dance BFA program, but I didn’t submit my self-tapes in time. I could re-audition next spring, or I might decide just to take Dance classes for fun. But I’ve been dancing all my life, and I definitely don’t want to leave that behind.

What made you choose MMC?
A friend from high school who was a year ahead of me and in my IB Theatre class was always talking about MMC and how much she wanted to apply for the Acting program. That got me intrigued, and when it was my turn to start looking into colleges, MMC became one of my top options. During orientation, someone said that in big schools, you make a mistake, and no one notices it. But in a small school, people notice. I like that—I like having more hands-on learning with a professor and not being in a class of 500 students.

What do you love most about New York?
It’s been a dream to come here and just walk around. I’m a huge advocate for walkable cities—especially coming from Denver, which isn’t very pedestrian-friendly.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
After I graduate, I’d like to get another bachelor’s in Architecture. I’ve always wanted to be an architect, have my own house in Washington, and live out my Twilight fantasies. I’d also love to intern at the MET or the British Museum. If I don’t, I’ll still be doing one of two things. I either want to apprentice for a dance company and see what it’s like or do theatre. In Colorado, we have the Denver Center of Performing Arts—the state’s big theater company—and I would want to try to get myself into one of their productions.

Can you share an interesting/weird/funny fact about yourself?
I’m double-jointed, so I can do that contortionist trick where they take their arms from the back and bring them over to the front of their body. It’s hard to put it in words—seeing it is cooler!



Name: Lukas Schoellkopf (he/him)
Major: Musical Theatre

Where’s home for you?
I’m from Salisbury, Maryland. It’s a little rustic—I live across from a cornfield—but the nearest college town is just 10 minutes away, so there’s a good balance.

What drew you to your major?
I’ve been doing musical theatre since second grade, first with school productions but then with companies around Salisbury. I saw Matilda when I was eight, and it was the first time I’d watched an ensemble of people my age. It kicked me into high gear. I thought, ‘That could be me on that stage, and I’m going to work hard to get there.’ Besides majoring in Musical Theatre, I plan to double minor in French and Spanish. I’ve always been interested in languages. I want to travel and do a year abroad, maybe in France or Spain.

What are your career goals?
My ultimate goal is to be able to perform for a living. It’d be great to be on Broadway, but if I can sustain myself living in New York City as a performer, that’s my dream.

What made you choose MMC?
During the BFA audition process, MMC stood out as the most welcoming and friendly school. And I’ve always wanted to live in New York City, so that’s a big plus.

What are you looking forward to doing the most in the city?
Obviously, the theatre scene. It has always felt like home to me. I’ve been going to New York every year for my birthday to see a Broadway show. Outside of that, I’ve always been in awe of the huge melting pot of different cultures.

Can you share an interesting/weird/funny fact about yourself?
My grandfather was an entrepreneur who started a mini golf company with multiple locations in Ocean City, Maryland. It’s always been a cool part of my life growing up. For Thanksgiving, my cousins and I would stay over and sleep on the greens or the skee-ball machine in the arcade. I’m pretty good at playing, too. I know some tricks to get a hole-in-one.



Name: Ingela Alvarado (she/her)
Major: Business, with a concentration in Fashion Marketing

Where’s home for you?
I was born in St. Croix, the U.S. Virgin Islands, but moved to Boca Raton, Florida, when I was eight. I always tell people that if I had stayed in St. Croix for middle school, I would have learned how to play the steel pan drums—it’s a requirement there that you learn.

What drew you to your major?
Since I was little, I would pick up fashion magazines like Vogue and check out the latest designers. The industry gets me excited—I love runway shows. I’m contemplating, as well, whether I want to apply for Dance, which I’ve done since I was eight. I want to get a feel for how life is without it first.

What made you choose MMC?
My old dance teacher had some students who went here and loved it. I thought the College had a great environment, and after speaking with staff, faculty members, and students, I felt like it was a good fit. Being in New York is also perfect for my major—the city’s such a fashion hub.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully, by then, I would’ve established some sort of career path for Fashion Marketing. I’d also like to continue to live in New York, although I’m open to living overseas as well. I want to study abroad in Berlin for at least one semester, and if it’s a great fit for me, I would consider moving there.

Can you share an interesting/weird/funny fact about yourself?
My last name is Latino because my dad’s Ecuadorian, so some people think my first name is too. But it’s not Hispanic at all—it’s actually Swedish. My mom’s family is from Sweden, and she named me after my Swedish grandmother.



Name: Harley Fleschner
Major: Dance and Journalism

Where’s home for you?
Port St. Lucie, Florida. But I’ve always dreamt of living in New York. My Mom went to NYU and still has a circle of friends here. Every time I’ve visited the city, I’ve felt a strong connection to it.

What drew you to your majors?
Dance has always been a part of my life—my mom says that I’ve been dancing since I could walk. I started training at 10, and at 12, I joined a company that brings together dancers with and without disabilities, which definitely helped me grow as an artist. At the same time, it was important for me to balance out my education with a double major, and journalism was a natural fit. I love writing and telling stories, and I earned my Associate in Arts degree in high school as a journalism major.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
There are so many possibilities! I would love to be dancing full-time and choreographing as well. That’s number one. But journalism is important to me, too, and I’d like to somehow combine it with dance. Plus, I model! I’ve done dance photography for years, and when I was 14, my mom posted a picture from one of my shoots. Kallee Jackson, a local designer in Florida, saw it and cast me in her runway show, and I’ve been modeling for her ever since.

She’s been an amazing mentor for me. I walked for her in New York Fashion Week this past February, will be going with her to London Fashion Week 2024, and am deeply honored to be the face of her fashion house Maison De Kallee Jackson going forward. I’ve also modeled for another local designer, Sabre Mochachino. Modeling has taught me so much about using my angles, presenting myself, and being able to express what the clothing makes me feel. It’s another beautiful art form that I am blessed to be able to integrate into my life. I am deeply grateful.

What made you choose MMC?
I didn’t know if it was going to be right for me, or if I would find a school that could really help me to be successful. And then I visited MMC. I’m getting emotional for some reason, but I immediately felt a genuine connection to it, and I’ve met so many incredible people here. At Griffin Day, I bumped into Dance Professor Jan Dijkwel, who immediately knew my name and recognized me from my audition. It was so affirming that someone of his status would recognize me out of thousands of students! I could see that the professors here really care. I also did a ton of research, and for me, this was the best, most well-rounded Dance program and the one that excited me the most.

Can you share an interesting/weird/funny fact about yourself?
I got my first-degree black belt in Taekwondo when I was 10. It taught me so much about discipline and self-control, which carried over to dancing and training and everything I do. I also love to draw, so you’ll see random drawings all over my room.



Name: Noah Horowitz (he/him)
Major: Musical Theatre

Where’s home for you?
I’m from Warwick, New York, a country town two hours away from Manhattan—it’s where all the city dwellers go for apple picking and all the other farm activities they like to do in the fall. But for the past few years, I’ve been in the city more than I’ve been home because I got the opportunity to work on some shows. I did Kidz Theater for four years in Manhattan and two equity shows. My high school would let me out early to work on them.

What made you choose MMC?
A friend who went here encouraged me to apply. But it was really at the Musical Theatre audition that I fell in love with MMC to the point where there was nowhere else I wanted to be. I liked the atmosphere, and it felt like the faculty cared about what they were doing. I just felt comfortable here.

What are your ultimate career goals?
That’s a difficult question, honestly. I’ve been cooking since I was seven—I went to a culinary high school and worked as a chef at a restaurant three or four days a week in my senior year. I would love to open up my own restaurant someday. At the same time, I’ve been doing theatre since I was 10. I love performing and would love to be on Broadway or TV. I have a few upcoming projects I’m excited about, including a part in the new Theater Camp movie.

Both professions are equally important to me, and I want to spend my life focused on them. If I could, I would love to connect the two, maybe by working on a cooking show.

What do you appreciate most about New York City?
It’s my favorite place to be. I always think it’s interesting to pass all these people on the street who have different lives and life stories. You don’t get that in other places.

Can you share an interesting/weird/funny fact about yourself?
My go-to fun fact is that I have two uvulas—that’s the little flap at the back of your throat. I have a bifid uvula, which means it’s split in two. There’s such a shock factor to it that it makes an impression!

 

Published: September 15, 2023