Dancing with the Monarchs

“Dance Day” fundraiser offers low-cost classes to students and community members.

By Jazmine Sanchez, Staff Writer

You could dance if you wanted to. You could dance ‘til you dropped.

On Dance Day, an Oct. 25 fundraiser for the Valley College dance department, students and community members could take as many as six classes in different styles for only $5 each or $20 to fill the whole card.

More than 60 people punished the parquet in the North Gym in styles including Afro-Funk, Hip-Hop, House, Contemporary and Turns/Jazz.  Special guest choreographers were brought in to teach. More than $500 was raised.

A group of dance production students came up with the idea to raise money while reaching out to community members and informing them of what is being offered. Dance Professors Geordie Wright and Liz Casebolt made sure it was approved by the school. The first Dance Day, in Spring 2014, was enough of a success to justify this return engagement.

“Dance day is an event that we put on to bring guest artists to our students so that our students have the opportunity to experience teachers from the community and it is a way for us to invite other community members in to see our facilities and get to learn more about Valley College,” Professor Wright said.

One special guest choreographer was Eric Ellis, known as “The Turn Doctor” for his work in films such as “Coming to America” and “Showgirls.” Alongside was Maya Zellman, a hip-hop professor at Valley. Zellman was part of a dance company called VersaStyle and currently owns the chocolate company, Brigadeiro: Brazilian Sweets.

“Dance Day was a fun experience for me,” said 28 year-old Theater Arts major Vincent Smith. “I got the chance to participate in dance classes from various styles and genres, combined with the opportunity to meet and interact with others that share my passion for dance.”

On social media, people were asked to re-post a flyer for Dance Day and hash-tag it with the words #dancedaygiveaway. The winners were chosen at random and once they were chosen, they were given the chance to take all of the classes on Dance Day for free.  In hopes of reaching out to more people in the community, the dance department is working on offering an AA degree in Dance.

For information on further events you can visit the dance department’s Facebook page under “Los Angeles Valley College Dance Program.”


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