5 Ways to Keep Up with your Passion for Dance as an EC Student

After dancing for sixteen years both competitively and in ballet productions like The Nutcracker, I had no idea what my future held as a dancer in college. Although dance had been my biggest time commitment and passion throughout high school, I went through planning my college career without doing much research on what dance programs each of the schools I applied to offered. Fortunately, with a little searching, I found a variety of great dance opportunities both at Emmanuel and in Boston. If you are in the same boat, making the same challenging transition from dancing in high school to dancing in college as I was, here are 4 opportunities I found to dance as an Emmanuel student.

1. Signing up for a class or two with the Colleges of the Fenway Dance Project

The great thing about the COF Dance Project is its flexibility. They have a variety of classes including ballet, tap and hip hop, and they provide dance opportunities for all experience levels ranging from beginners to people who have been taking classes for years. The Colleges of the Fenway Dance Project offers both technique classes to improve skills and classes that teach choreography for an end of the semester show that gives students an opportunity to perform.

2. Taking open adult classes at the Boston Ballet School

People are often surprised when I tell them that Boston Ballet and its affiliated school don’t cater to just aspiring and established professional dancers. Boston Ballet School actually provides classes for people of all backgrounds including children, dancers with disabilities, senior citizens and adult dancers ranging from beginner to advanced. Adult open classes cost $18 or $15 if you are under 25 years old and have a student ID and are a great way to keep up with ballet at any level in addition to getting the opportunity to train at a school that is part of a world renowned ballet company. More information about the adult open classes can be found here.

3. Participating in the musicals the Emmanuel College Theatre Program has to offer

Picture from Emmanuel College Theatre Arts’ production of The Little Mermaid

Emmanuel College’s Theatre program was my biggest saving grace when it came to dance. For EC’s musical productions, they often form a dance core of around 6 people with a strong dance background, usually have dance rehearsals about twice a week for 2-4 hours at a time and have around six showings of their production in April. Participating in these shows has not only given me consistent opportunities to dance throughout the week, but has also helped me participate in theatre without a strong singing or acting background, and has helped me grow a stronger appreciation and understanding of it. As someone who auditioned for their first Emmanuel College show their freshman year, I can also say it was such a beneficial opportunity to make more friends on campus that share my passion for the performing arts.

4. Maintaining your movement and flexibility through the yoga and Zumba classes Emmanuel has to offer

Without having dance classes to go to every day like I did in high school, I often found myself restless and worried about losing my flexibility. Fortunately, Emmanuel offers both free Zumba classes (Wednesdays at 7pm) and Yoga classes (Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7pm). I love having these classes three times a week that get me moving, and they don’t require any previous experience, they are just a place for people to get together and learn a new style of exercise without any sort of competition. It is a relief after years of performing to have a place that is a judgement free environment where I can maintain the skills I learned in dance without the anxiety of preparing for a dance performance or feeling like I need to execute every single move well.

Taken from the Emmanuel College Zumba Instagram page (@eczumbaclub)

Hopefully these four tips can set you on the right path to keeping up with your passion for dance in college, and you can find a dance activity here that fits your schedule and interests! Also, remember that these are only a few of the opportunities you have to dance in college, some others being the Emmanuel College Dance Team, EC Dance Marathon and going back home to reconnect with you old dance studio during weekends and school vacations. Happy dancing, Saints!