Friday January 4, 2013Gymnastics perfect fit for Bianca Dancose-Giambattisto
by Andrew Piper, UF Communications
It all started with a ballet class at age three that was short lived and cut short by a nap since it failed to draw her interest.
Fifteen years later, freshman Gator gymnast Bianca Dancose-Giambattisto is ready to compete collegiately in the sport that peaked her interest at age three - gymnastics.
Having once put her to sleep, ballet is no longer boring for Bianca, as ballet classes have helped her become a better all-around gymnast. With some of her former coaches being from Russia, the gymnastics culture that is rooted in ballet to improve a gymnast’s form was something Dancose-Giambattisto became accustomed to.
“It is funny because now I love ballet and if I could do another sport I would be a ballerina because I have the body and the long legs,” described Dancose-Giambattisto.
She grew up in a household that consisted of an English father and a French mother, and the bilingual barrage resulted in Bianca being bilingual and formed a unique language at home that she refers to as “Frenglish.”
This past year, Dancose-Giambattisto spent a day at Sainte-Justine Hospital in Canada to complete a high school project while learning more about an area of study she hopes to one day work in.
“I was always caring for people who were sick,” said Dancose-Giambattisto.
When the opportunity to observe an open-heart surgery came while she was working on the project, Dancose-Giambattisoto said yes. This was a chance to see something done that one day she aspires to perform. It was an experience that some medical students struggle to stomach, but Dancose-Giambattisto felt the same emotions that rush through her just before she signals the judge prior to a routine. And it just reinforced her desire to pursue a career in the medical field once her gymnastics career is completed.
That career has taken Dancose-Giambattisto to the sport’s highest level.
She was part of Canada’s team which competed in front of thousands of people at the 2010 World Championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands. That and similar experiences will help Dancose-Giambattisto when she is ready to appear in front of the large Stephen C. O’Connell Center crowds. Competing with thousands watching is something that she embraces and pumps her up before she takes the floor for a routine.
As a member of the Canadian National Team during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, what Dancose-Giambattisto has enjoyed most about participating in international competition is being around other great gymnasts.
“For two straight weeks [at the World Championships], you are with the best gymnasts and people in your sport,” explained Dancose-Giambattisto. “Talking to them, eating with them - it was such a great opportunity. People who have the same love of the sport as you and being constantly surrounded by them is amazing.”
Opportunities like international competitions allowed her to exhibit her social personality and in those environments she thrived.
“I will go up to anyone and talk to them, even if they don’t speak my language we can always find a way to talk,” explained Dancose-Giambattisto.
How does the well-traveled, multilingual freshman like a quaint college town like Gainesville?
“I love it,” said Dancose-Giambattisto. “The weather, the people and the team is a family really and not just a team. I just love it.”
The Florida Gator Gymnastics squad is coming off a Southeastern Conference championship and a second-place finish at last year’s Super Six, but everything for Dancose-Giambattisto will be a new experience. One of the first will be her first routine in front of an O’Connell Center crowd that teammates say is the best, and even though it is untold what else will follow, Dancose-Giambattisto is up for the challenge.