The Hourglass

Leaping into a New Era: The Possibility of an Upper School Dance Class

Amy Zhang '18, Guest Writer

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As dance team finished its last performance on February 14, Coach Dale Sherman announced to dance team members that she will propose launching a dance class as an art elective in the future.
The two-hour practices during the Winter Season do not give dance team enough time to prepare for the final show. Some choreographers were forced to shorten their dances due to time constraints. A semester-long course could lessen the time pressure and allow dancers to improve dance skills, rather than simply learning their teammate’s choreography, and in turn, dancers could present themselves better on stage.
The entire dance team showed excitement about this proposal. Carys Li ‘19, a lead dancer and a choreographer on the Baldwin dance team, believes that a regular training schedule within the school day can make the dance team stronger. Dancers would have more time to practice and feel more comfortable about the moves. Li could therefore include more complicated dance moves. “It will be great if we can spend time on bars to train our flexibility and muscle control,” she said.
Baldwin’s dance team would not be the sole beneficiary of a dance class. With a dance class, dancers who cannot join the dance team due to conflicts with other sports practices would get an opportunity to dance in their community.
Also, students who have little interest in studio art, such as painting or performing arts, will have dancing as another option to complete their art credit requirement for graduation. Baldwin’s other art programs, such as music, might also benefit from a dance class.
Sophie Lewis’ 18 provided a new perspective on the design of the dance course. She thought the dance class should target students who have interest in the art of dance or the history of dance, but not the physical part of dancing.
Hannah Yin’ 18 believes that Baldwin can hold more than one dance class and have them leveled, similarly to orchestra and Firenze. She said that these dance classes might focus on different things: one leaning toward exercising and one focusing on art, for example.
Coach Sherman did not reveal the exact course design she had in mind, but an elective dance class would aim to provide a legitimate dance training experience and could potentially raise interest in dance at Baldwin. If Baldwin ends up accepting this proposal, it will mark the start of a new and improved era for dance in the School community.

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Leaping into a New Era: The Possibility of an Upper School Dance Class