Charles Kingsbury, UF Communications
Sophomore Bianca Dancose-Giambattisto has a smile that can light up a room
and a laugh that permeates throughout Florida's locker room.
But you would never guess she's thousands of miles away
from her home in Montreal, Quebec, considering how well she carries herself.
"Being a freshman, you come in and don't really know
what to expect," Dancose-Giambattisto said of her freshman year.
"I'm from Canada, and it's a
totally different culture and language. I didn't have any idea what college
sports were like."
Her freshman season didn't go as planned. Last fall, Dancose-Giambattisto had surgery
to remove screws from her foot and couldn't train on
any apparatus other than uneven bars.
But it was a blessing in disguise.
"I felt confident [last year] that I could contribute
well on bars," Dancose-Giambattisto said.
She certainly did.
In 2013, Bianca competed on uneven bars 12 times and registered three scores of 9.900 or higher. In the NCAA
Semifinals and Super Six, she led off both events and collected scores of 9.875
"I love competing bars," she said. "I feel
like I'm flying. It's my comfort zone."
As a sophomore, that trend has
"This year, just the coaching staff putting me in
first place [on bars] is an honor. When you leadoff a team, it means they trust
She’s continued her steady performance on the bars this
season, including a 9.875 in the season-opener versus perennial power
And she has seen her role increase, too, having twice turned
in exhibition balance beam performances.
But more importantly, Dancose-Giambattisto has found her voice as a leader.
"You just have to find your role on the team,"
she said. "You don't have to necessarily replace the
performances of Ashanée [Dickerson], or Randy [Stageberg] or Marissa [King]. You
just have to find how you can lead the team your way."
"I'm a super outgoing
person, so I love to encourage my teammates and try to get the mood not too
stressful in the gym but make it fun."
Her attitude is infectious, but so is her work ethic.
During the summer semester, Dancose-Giambattisto stayed in Gainesville to take classes.
And as a pre-med major, Dancose-Giambattisto knows balance is key to handling her school work and
"When I come into the gym, I just forget about
said. "It's like my getaway."
With this team, she knows the goal is win championships.
That focus on perfection also aids her in her goal to become
a doctor to help others.
"To achieve perfection in gymnastics, it motivates me,
but also in my career afterwards," she said. "It's a win-win."