‘I feel most myself when I’m dancing’

Tapanga Krause, Staff Reporter

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Two majors, three minors, a club and a wide variety of classes to choose from. Whether you have 10 years of experience or no experience at all, the CWU Dance Program has it all. 

Student Dance Association (SDA), the dance club on campus meets Fridays from 3-5 p.m. in the Nicholson Pavilion 106. The club offers a wide variety of master classes.

SDA President and fifth year student Katelyn Stewart and SDA Vice President and senior Katelin Smith-Rockne said  that a variety of master classes are chosen.

“We kind of just pick and choose what works with our schedule and availability, as well as what the club wants,” Smith-Rockne said.

Master classes include things like “twerkshop,” Argentinian tango and heels classes. Companies and businesses around the state can reach out to the advisors within the dance program to  teach a class. 

Director and Associate Professor Therese Young explained the styles, classes, majors and minors that are offered in the program. 

“We offer a Bachelor of Arts, a major in dance and we offer three different minors,” Young said. “A performance minor [in collaboration with the theater program], a dance education minor where you can get an endorsement for K-12. It’s a funny little loophole in the state where just with a minor in dance you can teach K-12. And then we have a general dance minor.”

The core styles for any program are modern and ballet. Other styles include tap, jazz, ballroom and more. The program also offers history, choreography, composition and music classes. 

When students were asked if they believe anyone can learn to dance, the simple answer was yes, it’s all about movement and the way you use your body. Freshman and theater studies major Sarah Bersch explained why we need dance.

“Everyone can dance, everyone has a way of expressing their emotions through movement,” Bersch said. “That’s why we have dancing, because music moves you so much that you have to express it through your body.” 

Third year elementary education major student Serena Thompson said she doesn’t have a dance background.

“It’s kind of hard if you didn’t grow up with a dance background,” Thompson said. “Speaking from personal experience, but I think that anyone can do it.”

Many of the students expressed the fact that movement is the biggest component of dance. 

“We are born to move,” Young said. “Movement is a natural part of who we are.” 

When students were asked what their favorite thing about dance was, answers consisted of how expressive it was and how it tells a story.

Second year student and dance major Jaelynn Tonder described how it makes her feel.

“I feel most myself when I’m dancing,” Tonder said. “ You always act like different people around everyone, but when I’m in a dance environment and when I’m around others who love to dance, I feel like that’s my truest self out there.”

Fourth year dance major student Bailey Erwin talked about what being apart of the dance program means to her.

“I get to come dance and hang out with my best friends every day,” Erwin said. “I think that’s the best part about it.”  

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