If you’ve ever wanted to take a dance class like tap or hip-hop, look no further. This semester, student-taught dance classes are being offered on week nights. The free classes are offered on a drop in, drop out basis so that they are open to everyone, and they don’t require enrollment.
Not only do the students of these classes benefit from them, but as dance professor Hilary Harper-Wilcoxen said, “It’s been really good for students to learn what it takes to teach, because doing the thing and teaching the thing are two entirely different skill sets.”
The tap class is co-taught by two sisters, junior Grace Abbott and freshman Belle Abbott. They have been tapping since they were young, working with a range of renowned teachers in Boston and New York. Grace explained, “Belle and I try to create a relaxed and interactive environment so that everyone can bring steps to the table and we can learn from each other.” Although regulars attending the class are intermediate to advanced, Grace ensured that, “since tap is a style that builds and works with rhythms, more beginner levels could mix in as well without a problem.”
Tap isn’t the only class taught by a sibling duo. Hip-hop is co-taught by senior Jason Wissman and sophomore Jami Wissman. Despite having begun dancing only a few years ago, both have natural talent. Jason, who started dancing as a freshman, began choreographing original routines his sophomore year and included other students in dance videos.
The class, which is open to all skill levels, is very full. While a regular dance class will only take 20 people, the hip-hop class often has 30 or more people in attendance. “It’s really awesome to see people with no experience coming out and being brave and just trying something new,” Jason said.Although the classes are a few weeks in, it’s not too late to join. To those considering joining a class, Jason said, “What do you have to lose by trying? The answer is nothing.” The classes offer a unique opportunity for dancers to gain valuable teaching experience while providing a range of classes for interested students.
Tap class is on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m., and hip-hop is on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9 p.m.. Both take place in Morey dance studio.