Dance on through your sophomore year

Meredith Compton

Students looking for a fun and different class to take in the fall should investigate classes in the Dance Division.

The division will be offering the traditional classes focusing on modern dance styles, but it will also be adding new classes to its roster this fall.

The division offers basic classes in theatrical-based dance styles such as modern dance, ballet, tap and jazz, said Andrea Shearer, associate professor of dance and dance coordinator.

“Anyone who knows absolutely nothing about any of these forms but is lucky enough to register early can take these classes, which are listed as Studio Modern I, Studio Jazz I, etc.,” Shearer said. “Students who have had previous experience can contact the instructor and gain permission to enroll in the Studio Ballet II or Studio Tap II classes.”

Classes in other social and ethnic forms of dance are offered as well, Shearer said. An example of one of these classes is Studio African Dance I, which teaches a variety of traditional African dances, and, several times a semester, is accompanied by live drummers.

“Those are always exciting classes as the pulse of the drums reaches into students’ very heartbeats,” Shearer said. “This class tends to be very aerobic.”

Another class that students curious about dance should consider is Dance As An Art Form. This class is a three credit, Fine Arts LER and consists of two lectures and one activity class each week. During the activity class, students meet in a dance studio and learn a different form of dance, Shearer said.

“Here is where students get a ‘taste’ of various forms of dance and creative expression,” Shearer said.

Assistant professor of dance Joan Meggitt especially enjoys teaching this class.

“Near the end, the students break into groups for a final project that they create,” Meggitt said. “I always enjoy seeing the dance projects because the students’ personalities really come out, and I get to see them doing something that they enjoy or find particularly interesting.”

In addition to these traditional courses, the division will also be offering a new course in Hawaiian Hula in the fall.

“The instructor is a woman who regularly travels to Hawaii to study hula and the traditional chants that accompany them,” Shearer said. “The movements in Hula dancing are a lot more challenging than most people would expect because there is constant movement of both the legs and the arms.”

Most of the dance classes meet two day per week for 50 minutes, with the exception of the Hula class. This class will meet once a week for a double class period.

Shearer said students receive one credit hour for each course, and enrollment is limited to a maximum of 20 to 25 students per class, so early registration is encouraged.

Contact general assignment reporter Meredith Compton at [email protected].