The Future of Dance
Dance has many benefits. Of course there are the physical benefits such as increasing flexibility and improving your posture, however did you know that it can improve your cognitive acuity and can be used as a means of therapy? Truth. Last year, one of my friends and I wrote a research proposal on using dance movement therapy as a tool to decrease prejudice in small children. Oh the power of dance!
Yet all of this being known, dance programs and other performing arts are seriously underappreciated and many times are the first to be cut when there is a budget crisis in schools. Unless attend a performing arts school like Julliard or NYU’s Tish, or your school has a rigorous dance major, chances are that dance or the performing arts in general do not get enough TLC.
I am very grateful that although my alma mater Colgate University did not have an official dance program, we had a large number of active dance groups that the administration supported. We had everything from ballroom to belly dancing, Bhangra/Bollywood and at one point, there was an active Capoeira group. The greatest part was that they were completely student run, down to the choreography and the costume ideas. Every semester, the groups would host a huge showcase in front of student body called Dancfest. Dancefest is undoubtedly one of the biggest events on campus. I have seen people climbing through the windows after the doors closed just to see and support their friends.
Over the years, dancers at Colgate have been trying to increase the visibility of dance and also advocate for a formalized dance program. I recently found out (today actually) that there is an academic dance class that is being taught this semester! I am pretty sure this only happens once every two years… Another truly exciting development is that a wonderful group of committed dancers have really taken it upon themselves to see dance grow at Colgate. They made a video showing that Colgate does indeed dance and as an alum (and also a staff member) I was able to make super small cameo appearance. Major kudos to Danielle Iwata and Jill Golzter.!!!
In conclusion, the moral of the story is SUPPORT THE ARTS, especially dance! Enjoy!