Organization of student dancers invite public to attend free classes

Nicole Hennessy

Clumsy and graceful welcome at Kent Dance Association

Free yourself by allowing your body to take you wherever it wants to, and learn a new skill at the same time.

“As a student, I love to train with as many different people as possible,” said Sara Perry, vice president of Kent Dance Association. “You learn so much from people you come in contact with and everyone has a different sense of movement.”

KDA is a student union with the goal to bring diverse professionals of the dance industry to the university. Classes, which are free of charge and open to the public, take place a few times per semester.

KDA President Amanda Black said she hopes the classes “give the students the ability to expand their dancing.”

Through fundraising, KDA is able to offer the community the different classes.

Perry and Black recently helped bring professional dancer Angela Kahle, a member of the famous Rockettes, to Kent.

“Exhale; get everything out,” Kahle said as she started the class blaring music last week.

Stretching, the seemingly sluggish dancers began to appear more awake.

“Find your personal style,” Kahle said. “Do whatever you want to; whatever you feel.”

Leading the students in a choreographed dance combination, Kahle told the class to improvise and have fun with it. She encouraged their row formations to become more of a clump.

Suddenly, emerging from seeming disorder, were graceful leaps and twirls. Flailing arms and legs erupted from the mass of dancers. Everybody dancing together created a sense of unity without form.

The sluggish students who entered the class now seemed energized and alert as they graciously thanked Kahle for the opportunity to learn something they might not have in their normal classes.

“This class allowed me to let go and really have fun in the movement,” Perry said. “Each person you have the opportunity to study with will bring a new side out in you that you have not considered before.”

Sharing techniques can help dancers improve their skills.

“I love direction changes,” Kahle said as she described the choreography’s style. “I don’t mean to apply it to my life, I just follow my heart. Doing that is not always steady.

“In this business there are so many ways to go. Dancing is not the only thing you can do.”

Transitioning from college to the professional dance world can be difficult, but students like Perry find inspiration in seeing people like Kahle achieving her dreams.

“I have both the ambition and the desire to dance,” Perry said. “People like Angela just make it seem more likely that I can make it happen.”

Though there is no date set, KDA plans to bring in a massage therapist as their next guest instructor.

Perry said the classes “tend to be a blast. Or at the least, very challenging and motivating.”

Whether people attend these classes for inspiration or just for fun, they don’t need talent to move their bodies. After all, as Kahle said, “It’s not rocket science, its just dance.”

Contact performing arts reporter Nicole Hennessy at [email protected].