Dance is a funny thing. As anyone who has been a dancer knows, a piece of you will always be a dancer, no matter how many years it’s been since your last plié. Many know about a few ways to keep dancing at Florida State University (FSU), such as the major and the many teams. However, unbeknownst to many, one organization exists that brings all who appreciate the art together to celebrate their love of dance, as well as be allowed to teach classes at schools around the community. This is The Dance Project.
Victoria Pagán, president of this student ran organization explains their mission and purpose. “We honestly just want to highlight dance at FSU. We teach dance classes at preschools, elementary schools and middle schools in the Tallahassee community for free so that children can get dance classes in an area where those opportunities are less accessible.” They also try to show students at FSU the vast variety of dance opportunities on campus.
Not only the highly trained and dedicated dancers can benefit from being a part of this community, but anyone who wants to try out classes, attend shows or even those who are just interested in gaining experience working with children. In Pagán’s words, “It is definitely a great opportunity for those who grew up dancing and have a love for dancing, but also people who are just interested in dance, who may want to try a dance class or get back into it, and have a non-judgmental group to go with. Everyone is welcome.” Past dance socials have included hip hop classes, time with FSU circus dancers, a workshop with the FSU belly dancers, cardio dance classes at the Leach, attending School of Theatre and Dance performances and more.
The core of the club comes when they are able to work with the kids. Pagán said, “When it comes to teaching at the schools, there is nothing like the impact we get to make on the children at these schools. If you want to teach dance, it is such a cool way to do that and receive community service hours at the same time.” They also have a system in place where less experienced dancers can teach with more experienced dancers that way everyone can get involved. It is a really great program for anyone interested, but especially for people interested in child psychology or family services.
Pagán says she has learned so much from the opportunity to teach at these schools and be involved in this group. “I just absolutely love working with the kids and seeing that they would not have had the chance to dance at that capacity without programs like this promoting free services. That’s really awesome.”
The work the organization does is so important to the fabric of the community. In her own words, “You’re leaving something with these kids. It is like giving them a little piece of you when you introduce this art to their lives, and it’s so rewarding. Dance is such an intimate special thing, and I love it so much so anyway I can spread that I am so thankful for. Also, you just get to dance, and it’s really so fun.”
At the beginning of the spring semester, there will be even more new opportunities to teach and become involved. The Dance Project will be at the spring involvement fair and the last market Wednesday of each month. To learn more, check out their Instagram and NoleCentral page. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions or information.