NSU holds its first “Dance Awareness Day”

NSU students, staff, faculty and community members stepped to the beat on Nov. 14; from noon to 3 p.m. at the Performance Theater in the Don Taft University Center for NSU’s “Dance Awareness Day.”

Around 40 people participated in the event, hosted by the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences. Students of all ages, from several local high schools and colleges attended, along with older community members.

“Dance Awareness Day” was coordinated by Elana Lanczi, associate professor of dance and the dance program’s chair, and Augusto Soledade, also an assistant professor of dance.

According to Lanczi, the event was created for several reasons, mainly to promote dance and offer dance lessons to the community.

Four dance classes, each an hour long, were instructed by Lanczi and Soledade. Dance styles included jazz, improvisation, Afro-Brazilian, and composition.

Every dance class was instructed at a level in which anyone — with or without dance experience — would be able to comfortably learn.

Even with a ruptured achilles tendon, Fernando Campos, junior psychology major and dance minor, came out to support and participate in the event.

Campos said, “Dance is an internal drive.  I really appreciate the choreographers and professors that are teaching.”

He also shared that he likes to come out to NSU dance events, in order to show his appreciation for the program and to encourage the continuation of dance promotions.

Campos added, “I find it interesting how the arts are underappreciated and since we have dance, I want to acknowledge that it is here and make sure it continues as a major here and expands.”

Both experienced and inexperienced dancers learned something new at “Dance Awareness Day.”

Roza Savelyeva, freshman dance major, said, “This is a great opportunity for everyone to get out and try dances that they didn’t have a chance to experience before.  I have been dancing since I was young and it was the first time I ever did improv and the Afro-Brazilian dance.”

According to Lanczi, the event accomplished its goal in attracting dancers from various dance programs throughout South Florida.

Ashleigh Coffman, a student at Wellington high school, said she found the concept of filling negative space, which was introduced during improve, insightful.

“I’ve been dancing since I was three but I found this whole event very informative.”, she said.

During lunch, a panel discussion on careers in dance was held, in which NSU dance faculty discussed different career paths for dance majors and shared their unique experiences with NSU’s dance program. A tour of the campus concluded the event.

Lanczi said she wanted to promote to high school students,who might be considering coming to Nova or studying dance, and allowing them to see the facility and meet the faculty.

“This event was really about bringing the community together.”, said Lanczi.

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