By Rachel Sharp
Dance classes, pointe shoes, leotards and spring recitals are what Natalie Lewis grew up with. Now, as a 20-year-old dance major at UVSC, not much has changed.
As a young dancer, Lewis always revered the older, more experienced college-level dancers who taught her classes. She always wanted to be a part of their group and to learn what they were learning. If she were attending a high school in the UVSC region, she would have that chance when UVSC”s Dance Department hosts its annual high-school dance workshop today.
More than 100 high schools received an invitation to attend the workshop which will introduce the students to the opportunities and careers available in the Dance Department.
The workshop consists of two dance classes, a meet-and-greet with the department faculty and an opportunity to participate in a discussion about the dance programs offered at UVSC with Department Chair Kim Strunk. Also, four of UVSC”s dance groups will perform for the students later in the afternoon.
UVSC has recently added four new dance degrees to its bachelors program, and the goal of this workshop is to promote awareness of these programs.
Assistant dance professor Angela Banchero-Kelleher said the workshop is basically a recruitment tool to let incoming students know about the four-year bachelor degree dance programs that UVSC offers.
“We want to make sure in a big way that people realize we have a four-year degree,” Banchero-Kelleher said.
The department hopes to attract the finest dance students in the region, Banchero-Kelleher said. Invitations to the workshop were sent to schools all over Utah and even to some in Idaho.
“UVSC has always had a fine reputation as a good school to gain technical dance skills, but people think you can only attend for two years and then must transfer,” Bancheor-Kelleher said. “We want people to realize we have four-year programs and take advantage of them.”
UVSC student Lewis said she wishes that she had had this same opportunity as a high school student who was very interested in college-level dancing.
“The workshop just teaches how many different things you can do with dance such as teaching or performing,” Lewis said. “Events like this just really open your eyes to a lot of new things.”