So, You Think You’ll Take Dance?

Posted on November 29, 2011 by


Have you satisfied your Health and Wellness credit requirement yet?  Before you enroll yourself into the typical web-based Nutrition class, consider taking a dance class on campus!

Last week, I attended the “Studies in Dance: A Lecture Demonstration” event sponsored by the Dance department, at IUSB.  During the performance, faculty members discussed the various dance styles taught in their respective classes.  Topics of discussion included history, technique, style and music.  The discussion was followed by a short demonstration by students to showcase what they had been learning in the class so far this semester.  As I took my seat in the auditorium, notebook in hand to take notes, my expectations were not all that high. However,  I was pleasantly surprised from the beginning of the show to the end.

What can you expect your semester to be like when you enroll in a dance class at IUSB?

In Ballet, you can expect to be introduced to some of the basic positions, arm movements, and concepts of direction, tempo, balance and form.  The sterotypical attire–leotard and tights– are not a requirement.  Some of the people I saw were in bike shorts, jazz or yoga pants and a form fitting t-shirt or tank top.

In the Modern dance and Flamenco classes, you can expect to be introduced to the concepts of “fall”(submission to gravity) and “recovery” (resistence to gravity) which are movements that stress the expression of emotional intensity and contempory subjects rather than focusing on the formal, classical and often narrative aspects of Ballet.  You may also have the opportunity to work with the New Media class on a project that combines your movements (dance moves) with the electric, techo-like sounds produced by the New Media class.

In the Latin dance class, you can expect to be introduced to dances such as the Salsa, Merengue and Bachata.  All of these dances focus on music and dance steps that are faster in pace, more sensual and have a little more rhythmic expression.  The steps you’ll learn in this class are derived from the music to which they are danced. 

The Middle Eastern dance class seems to resemble Belly dancing.  You can expect to learn dances characterized by intricate hip and abdominal movements and to exercise and isolate muscles you may have never used before.  These dance moves are refined and characterized by soft, flowing actions of the arms.

In the Jazz dance classes, you can expect to be introduced to the popular dance moves of the early twentieth century that are characterized by many different rhythms going on at the same time–arm movements to one beat, torso movements to another, for example.  Do not confuse Jazz dance with Tap. Though IUSB will be offering Tap in the near future for those that are interested, this class will focus more different styles derived from the early genre.

And finally:

In the Social dance class, you can expect to be introduced to a wide variety of ballroom dances.  Think “Dancing with the Stars” on this one.  Instead of stars, you will be partnered with a fellow student of the opposite sex to learn the relatively simple steps of dances like the Waltz–one of the most popular dances performed in social dance halls today.

These classes are all introductory courses. You don’t need any prior experience or sense of rhythm.  Enrolling in one of these classes will satisfy your Health and Wellness credit requirement and will give you an opportunity to meet new friends.  IUSB also offers a minor in Dance. So, if you take one of these classes and decide you like it and want to learn more, while working productively toward a particular goal, you have that option.