Choreography club allows students to express themselves and teach others

Ryan Leflar with Tara Wade and Morgan Messer leading the formation for the BA Showcase at the Choreography club on Nov. 12, 2019.

The Choreography Club at Kent State gives any student the opportunity to dance freely and learn new choreographed routines, regardless of their major or skill level. 

Started by Tara Wade, a sophomore theatre studies major and Ryan Leflar, a sophomore theatre design/tech/production major, in 2018, the club has 60 active members and welcomes anyone.

“Choreo Club is a safe place for people to feel comfortable learning and teaching new dances and experimenting with the art of dancing,” Leflar said. “We encourage all majors and grades to participate and we encourage learning things outside your comfort zone to just have a good time.” 

Wade and Leflar are dancers and wanted to create a space to teach others. The creation of the club began when Wade texted Leflar late at night and they only had a few days to create the club before the deadline club creation on campus.

“The inspiration was honestly being told no for me,” Leflar said. “We had a very difficult time finding opportunities to experiment with choreography at Kent and it was impossible to reserve a dance studio. Choreo Club helped us change that not just for ourselves, but for everyone involved.”

Every week, the club members are taught a new dance by different choreographers. Within one hour, the group has a new dance under their belt. 

At the beginning, it was just Wade and Leflar teaching the dances with only a few other students. However, as time went on, more and more students have taught their own dance. 

With each week’s routine being taught by different students, it gives members a different experience every week. There is no specific way to teach a dance and each person has their own style.

“I love to dance and choreography club is a great place for people to share their creativity and try different styles,” Margarita Douglas, a junior theater studies major, said. “With my dance, I originally choreographed it for my musical theatre tap and jazz final. It’s technically made for a whole ensemble to perform, but I did it as a solo. So many people loved the dance and kept asking me to teach it. It was amazing to later step aside and watch my choreography be performed.”

The club does not have any requirements to join and is a free space for anyone. 

“It doesn’t matter if you are a dancer or not; if you want to, come and have fun,” Wade said. “You don’t have to worry about perfecting. You don’t have to worry about getting your technique right for a grade.” 

Wade and Leflar have lots of plans for the future like T-shirts, a showcase of the dances that have been taught and someone to mentor to share leadership with. As they want to let go of some of the responsibilities and make sure the club is still around after they graduated. 

For those interested in joining, Leflar and Wade recommend following their Instagram @choreographyclub_ksu for updates about the next meeting. 

I’ll have to say that giving opportunities to other people that me and Tara were told no about is so exciting,” Leflar said. “I love that something that hasn’t always been available to students is now available, not to mention the fact that it is our legacy.”

Contact Ryanne Locker at [email protected]