This past Monday, the Rhythm Performing Arts club held their biweekly dance workshop, where each class showcases a different dance style. Past workshops have included salsa, hip-hop, and a Halloween special. These workshops are open to people of all of skill levels. This week, participants learned the fundamentals of jazz.

Upon arrival, I was greeted by the co-presidents: Anshita Khanna, a fifth-year biology and anthropology student, and Paul Rodriguez, a fifth-year political science student. The teacher for this session was third-year psychology and anthropology student Cynthia Yeung.

After stretching, we began by learning the basics of jazz, which included a few kinds of turns, feet and arm positioning, and the “jazz square.” From there, Yeung began leading us through some high energy choreography set to Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” Participants worked on one section at a time. The choreography was fast-paced with multiple turns, quick footwork, and a floor section.

I learned pretty quickly that I had made a grave error of forgetting to bring a change of clothes. There is a reason this event’s tagline is “Stretch, Sweat, Pirouette, Repeat.” To avoid making the same mistake, I highly recommend bringing workout clothes, especially comfortable pants and a water bottle. In the case of jazz dance specifically, socks are very helpful for doing turns.

I would definitely attend another dance workshop. On top of how fun and challenging the choreography was, I had a great time trying out something totally new to me and meeting some great new people. The team is clearly passionate about dance and were welcoming to people with little to no skills or experience—myself included. Even after the workshop ended, I have continued to think about this fun dance routine and I’d like to think that with continued practice, I could make this dance presentable.

If you’re looking for a fun way to spend a Monday evening or to mix up your workout routine, give the Rhythm Performing Arts dance workshops a try.

Rhythm Performing Arts will be continuing biweekly in the winter semester.

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