Dance club sponsors workshops for area children

Forty little feet trudged against glossy wood, departing from their loved ones begrudingly. A blur of people in sweats, leotards and frilly tu-tu’s stared in the mirrors. One by one they introduced themselves to the instructors: it was day one of the Johnson State College dance workshops.

On Oct. 17, about 20 children ages 6 to 12 gathered for the second consecutive year to learn hip-hop, jazz, ballet and modern styles with instruction provided by JSC’s dance club.
“This first workshop really focused on jazz and ballet, and will transition to modern and hip-hop as the workshops progress,” said Taryn Colby, dance club president.

The children were instructed in stretches, across the floor movements, and then it was broken down into choreography. “Our theme this year is Disney, and each style will be matched with various Disney songs,” Colby said.

For the dance workshop, tryouts are not necessary. According to Colby, as long as you pay the activity fee for the school, or the dance workshop fee, all members of the community are welcome.

The dance workshop will run for three Saturdays: Oct. 17, Nov. 17 and Dec. 5. “As with the dance club, participants of the workshop will put on a dance show for their parents and the community at the end,” Colby said. “The dance show is very important and gives the children an idea of what we do as a club. Their hard work and all they have learned really comes through.”

The president, vice president, treasurer, and both co-captains of the dance club are expected to be at each event, as well as other respective dance club members to help lead and facilitate.

Freshman and club member Anthony Ferrara noted that teaching one of these workshops presents certain challenges. “I taught a few dance classes at my high school for independent study,” he said. “The biggest challenge will be the age range and the attention they need.”

The Rennie Harris RHAW dance group foreshadowed this dance workshop , holding their own separate workshop for the dance club and the community. For Ferrara, that experience provided inspiration for the upcoming community workshops. “I did participate in the RHAW workshop and it was amazing,” he said. “They taught us some pretty advanced steps and it was intense…which will help in facilitating the forthcoming workshops.”

The dance workshop for kids is a fundraiser to support the JSC dance club in getting new costumes, helping to advertise with crew clothing, and to manage the club overall. “We seem to have a good turnout this year and I hope dance participation can continue to grow,” said Colby. “We are really trying to have a full agenda for every workshop, so the kids are always in movement. The hardest part about leading a workshop is making sure every child-at every level- is engaged.”
For more information, contactTaryn Colby can be reached at [email protected].