Valley College puts on its dancing shoes to teach fellow Monarchs a lesson.
By Leilani Peltz, News Editor
Sashay, cha-cha, step or pirouette into Valley College’s Dance Day. No matter how you swing it, Saturday’s event was filled with fun for all 60 participants.
From 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the North Gym’s Dance Studio, the public was invited to show off their dance moves or learn some new ones. Classes were $5 each or $20 for all day. Sponsors hoped to raise upwards of $500.
This is the second Dance Day in two semesters that the dance program has sponsored as a fundraiser for the annual spring dance production.
Geordie Wright, a dance instructor, said Dance Day originated from several students who came up with the event during the spring 2013 semester.
Each class began with a warm-up to a fast-paced song to help get the blood flowing, followed by a one-minute routine that each instructor choreographed and demonstrated to the attendees. Once the routine was practiced, the group would perform the final piece a few times before heading to the next class.
Monica Michele Fleming, the assistant coordinator for Dance Day, has been dancing for years but only recently began receiving formal training at Valley and is grateful to those who have helped her.
“I like giving back,” Fleming said. “All the teachers and staff were very encouraging. There’s no judgment here, unlike if you went to a professional studio.”
Eight classes were offered— three hip hop, two Zumba, and one each of salsa, jazz, and modern/contemporary.
Both students and professional instructors taught the hour-long classes.
Anthony Qureshi, a media arts post-production major, volunteered to be one of the hip hop instructors for Dance Day.
“I love teaching,” Qureshi said, “and I think school is a great place to let students [learn] something fun and educational at the same time.”
All-female dance classes are common, and Qureshi believes that the mind is what stops many males from attending.
“It’s all a mental game,” Qureshi said. “I understand that men don’t like doing things that they’re uncomfortable with. I encourage them to come to a class. I think they’ll be surprised, and they’ll learn more and do more than if they don’t come.”
The event was opened to the community and supported trying styles that were potentially outside of comfort zones.
“This is about community outreach and an opportunity for our students to try different genres,” Wright said. “It’s been a great day to celebrate dance.”