Arts & Humanities: Don't Leave College Without Them

Do you think all students should take dance classes? Why, what can students learn?

Jobs where it would be useful to have experience in dance: Theatre


The benefits of exploring dance classes are numerous. We are ALL movers, meant to move. Dance brings us back into our own bodies with experiential learning. Navigating movement with a greater sense of control and understanding increases our self-awareness as it builds strength, stamina and flexibility. Studying dance is also an opportunity to explore one's creativ- ity and develop a unique voice. Class builds trust, risk taking, discovery and promotes a sense of community. Dance gives us roots and forms bonds that stay with us outside of the studio.

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Why did you take up the study of dance?

What are 3 benefits of a dance education that come to mind?

Some careers in dance: Dancer / Performer Artistic director Choreographer Community Arts service Dance therapist Dance Educator Fitness industry Performer Rehearsal director Somatic practitioner

It is pure luck that I ended up in a dance studio. When I was 10 years old, a friend of mine was participating in dance classes. I joined her for a class and never looked back. It was where I felt most alive and at home.

If I had to pick just 3 benefits of a dance education I would say learning to think on your feet would be near the top. In this ever-changing world we need to learn to think deeply and react quickly to find our paths for - ward. Through dance, you develop an ability to solve problems as they occur and search out answers and opportunities that may not be easily visible. Equally valuable is the way dance teaches us to fully inhabit our body and develop a more intentional relationship with it. A sense of owning our body and having con- trol over what we do with it can be very empowering. Third, dance class is a place to learn how to take risks in a safe environment. Dance is a freeing, grounding, expression of the human spirit. It is a chance to be creative and discover more about oneself.

What are some ways that a study of and working life in dance have benefitted you and can benefit others?

Working in the field of dance has afforded me the oppor - tunity to work with so many interesting, vibrant and crea- tive people from diverse communities. They have inspired me and challenged me to remain curious about my art and life. In these dance communities, I learned to trust others, speak my mind, and believe in my own value. Dance is about honesty, persistence, consistency, communication, and chal- lenging yourself to learn more than the day before. That means practicing patience, understanding and forgiveness for ourselves. We can all benefit from these tools.

What have you most loved about a life in the world of dance?

Laurie Zabele Cawley danced profes- sionally with modern dance companies for over 20 years. Currently she is a Lecturer of Dance , Assistant Director of the Dance program and Founder/Artistic Director of Loose Change Dance Collec- tive, a multi generational dance company redefining what a dance artist looks like through strong works and performance.

One of the things I have loved about working in the dance field are the connections you make with people, whether with fellow dancers working together to create something from negative space, or with the audience. The deep vulner- ability and trust you develop within in a rehearsal process or on stage is something I have not been able to duplicate outside of dance. I feel my most authentic self, in these mo- ments with fellow dancers, working together to make some- thing extraordinary happen, to tell a story, provoke thought or simply to offer an experience. It is the sharing that I hold close to my heart.


Arts & Humanities

Don’t Leave College Without Them


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