Dancing Into Fall with Professional Workshops

BY Diana Hofmann

Staff Reporter

This October the Sacred Heart University’s dance program is providing five different dance workshops that are available for anyone who is interested, not just members of the dance program.

There are five different instructors, one for each workshop section, who will be coming to Sacred Heart to educate and perfect dancing skills. Anyone can come to have fun, be challenged and learn to dance from knowledgeable instructors.

“It has been very important to me since my appointment to the Director of Dance position in April to strengthen and diversify the dance course offering through curriculum development,” said Director of Dance Kari Williams. “It is also important to me to improve the technique, historical and cultural knowledge of dance and performance quality of our current dance students.”

Workshops include, “Dancehall Explosion,” with Rick Long on Oct. 8 in the University Commons (UC) and Hammerstep Irish dance and hip hop on Oct. 12 in the UC. Also, there are two theatre classes being held on Oct. 13, one with Marie Malanga in the
William H. Pitt center and the other with Adena Ershow in the UC.

“Through this workshop series and other initiatives, we have been able to maximize visibility of SHU dance programs both on and off campus by outreaching to local high school students to experience these classes for free. For participants, it is not only an awesome, collaborative artistic movement experience, but it has further enhanced their sense of community and belonging at SHU,” said Williams.

The first workshop was a hip hop master class that was held on Sept. 20 by instructor Kim Elliott, which was a huge success. Many Sacred Heart and Notre Dame High School students attended this class. Biology professor, John Karpinski and theatre arts professor, Sally Hong were also in attendance.

“The workshop was fantastic. While I have some ballroom dance experience, I had never tried hip hop before, so I knew I would feel a little outside of my comfort zone.  But Kim Elliot’s expertise, patience, and encouraging attitude made it so worthwhile. I also enjoyed dancing alongside SHU students, there is a lot of dance talent here,” said Karpinski.

Hong, who is a dance instructor at both Sacred Heart and Notre Dame, went to the hip hop class with eight of her high school dance students.

“Kari Williams graciously invited my high school students to attend Kim Elliott’s hip hop workshop last week. I had a mix of beginner and advanced students from the high school attend with me. I don’t get to take other people’s classes too often and I had a blast learning from someone else. I like that attendees came from all different backgrounds with various skill levels. It was a fun place to learn, relax, be challenged and have a great time,” said Hong.

All interested in these workshops must RSVP with Kari Williams via email at
Williamsk3@sacredheart.edu and can attend at the cost of $10 for each workshop they want to participate in, except Hammerstep which will cost $40.

If any dance program student brings a friend who is not in the program, the dance student will have free admission. Except for the Hammerstep workshop, high school students in the area can also attend all workshops for free.

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