Student organization celebrates World Dance Day

Elizabeth Myers

A group of dance education and performance majors create a negative-space sculpture yesterday afternoon in Risman Plaza for World Dance Day. The Student Dance Education Organization organized two dance “happenings” to raise awareness for the dance departm

Credit: DKS Editors

The sound of African drums echoed off the walls of the Student Center as a dozen dance education and performance majors leapt, spun, clapped and at times just jammed out in Risman Plaza.

The performance was one of two dance “happenings” put on for World Dance Day.

“Basically it’s (World Dance Day) about bringing dance into new performance spaces, bringing the community into it and raising awareness about dance,” Jill Forster, junior dance education major, said.

Forster is the secretary of the Student Dance Education Organization, which was responsible for putting the events together. The group had a table in the Student Center all day, passed out name tags bearing “World Dance Day,” and organized two dance performances.

The first was an improvisational dance in Risman Plaza to drums played by other dancers. This improv session featured dancers playing the “mirror game,” where two dancers would mimic each other’s movements, negative-space sculptures, and plenty of leaps and turns.

By being out in the open, the group was hoping to entice others to join them.

“Hopefully others will come and dance with us outside,” Forster said.

The second, a “freeze,” inspired by a similar performance at Grand Central Station, took place at 4 p.m. in the Hub. The dancers each struck a pose and stood frozen for five minutes.

“I’m excited for that one,” Kristen Wagnor-Hilt, freshman dance performance major, said early yesterday. “I’m excited to see people’s reactions.”

As a freshman, this is Wagnor-Hilt’s first experience with World Dance Day, something the Kent State dance program celebrates every year.

Forster said events like this are important for everyone, not just dancers or artists.

“As educators, not everyone recognizes the importance of the arts over core curriculum,” she said, continuing by saying that when schools lose funding, arts programs are usually the first to go.

“Art is for everyone,” Forster said.

Contact performing arts reporter Elizabeth Myers at [email protected].