BY Molly Congdon
CLIFTON PARK — Kiera Coccetti has been on the Shenendehowa dance team since her freshman year of high school. Back then, she was known as the quiet girl on the team, but eventually she became more talkative, developed friendships that will last a lifetime and now as a senior is known as the energetic spirit of the team who can always make everyone laugh.
Her love of dance has grown over the years and the experience of being on the dance team has transformed her personality. “I’ve become a more social and confident person,” Coccetti said. “I feel like I’ve grown in that way because of the dance team, and other people notice me more from being on the team.”
The aspiring nurse started taking tap and jazz classes at The Dance Department when she was 6 years old. “It was just fun,” she said. “It was an every year thing — signing up for dance.” Jazz has always been her favorite: “There are so many different things you can do — slow songs, fast songs. I just like being energetic and jazz definitely fits that.”
Like many of her classmates, Coccetti has lived in Clifton Park her whole life. Her mother, Kelly, is a physical therapist at Seton Health and her father, Steven, is a mortgage insurance salesman at MGIC. She also has a younger brother, Quinn, who is a sophomore. Her greatest influence, however, is her mom.
“She was a dancer so she would always critique my dances and help me,” Coccetti said. “She’s always encouraged me to continue dancing and she has always taught me things that I need to know about nursing, being a physical therapist she has a lot of background knowledge.”
When she is not at school or practicing dance, she spends a great deal of her time reading. “I really like to read books that I want to read, not ones that are assigned in school because they are boring and not as fun,” Coccetti said. She has a deep love of science fiction; it seems fitting that her favorite class that she has taken at Shenendehowa focused on reading and discussing books in the realm of science fiction. “We read a book called ‘Feed,’ and it was really cool book,” she said. “I was hooked the second I started it.”
If she could pick only one food to eat for the rest of her life it would be, without any doubt, macaroni and cheese — the gooey, warm dish that never fails to provide comfort and immediate happiness. “I eat it almost every day,” she said. “I’ve loved it since I was a kid and it’s so easy to make.”
Coccetti is waiting to hear back from Maria College. Regardless of whether she goes there or starts off at Adirondack Community College, she will be working toward a degree in nursing.
“My whole family is in the medical field, and my grandma was a nurse. So that’s the main reason why I want to pursue nursing,” she said.