Cynthia Monaco

Cynthia Monaco, Raytown High School Class of 1975

Cynthia MonacoCynthia Monaco is a 1975 graduate of Raytown High School. In 1979, she received a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies, and in 1986, a master’s degree in Guidance Counseling, both from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC).

From 1972 to 1976, Cynthia was a Company Member for the Kansas City Ballet. By the age of 18, she was a soloist and the youngest dancer to achieve that level. Unfortunately, an Achilles tendon injury ended her ballet performance career.

Cynthia’s love of dance quickly moved to teaching ballet, and in 1989, she established the Heart of America Youth Ballet (HAYB). Forming the company allowed her to realize her vision of giving young dancers the opportunity to learn the great classical works and to be able to perform ballets such as Coppellia, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, and Cinderella. The company has also produced their original ballets such as The Wizard of Oz, The Little Mermaid, and Alice in Wonderland.

In 2001, she opened the Heart of America Dance Centre in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. This studio has over 400 students, including a competitive dance team that includes 140 dancers who compete locally and nationally.

For three years, HAYB has been the recipient of the Studio of Excellence Award from the Association of Dance Competitions & Conventions (the ADCC).

Cynthia is also a Civic Information Member for the Downtown Main Street Lee’s Summit Historical Society and a Spotlight member for the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. HAYB donates proceeds from their ballets to the Juvenile Diabetes and Juvenile Arthritis Associations.

For over four decades, Cynthia Monaco has introduced and taught ballet to thousands of people. Many of her dancers have graduated with dance degrees and are dancing professionally across the country. HAYB has now grown to one of the largest youth ballet companies in the Midwest.

Cynthia is married to Dr. Michael Monaco and has two grown children and three granddaughters.