Orange Media Network

Prism

Orange Media Network

Prism

Orange Media Network

Prism

Fall 2023 Dance Showcase

On December 6, 2023, room 112 in the Women’s Building on Oregon State University’s Corvallis campus was alive with music, cheering, and dancing as the various classes in the Physical Activity Courses (PAC) Dance Program presented teasers of what they’d learned over the quarter. Boot-stomping country schottisches presented alongside dramatic tangos just as naturally as soulful modern dances presented alongside proper ballet. But unlike most dance showcases, these dancers were largely not performers. Some had only been dancing for the quarter.

The fall 2023 dance showcase was made up of performances from a variety of dance courses. About half were social dances, a term that encompasses partner dances, line dances, contra dances, and other forms of dance that are, well, social! In these classes, students were taught to communicate movements to a partner or memorize choreographed moves and execute these moves in a social setting (in my few terms taking Country Western classes, I’ve had two separate teachers make us simulate trying to dance in a tiny, crowded bar), but were not usually taught how to dance for a crowd. Of the remaining dance classes that performed, which included tap, ballet, modern, hip-hop, and jazz, a large number were beginner-level classes. The result was a performance that was less polished but more personable than most, a community of dancers coming together to cheer one another on during their learning journeys.

There were a few exceptions to the less polished performances. OSU Dancesport, a competitive ballroom dance team that competed in NYC during the weekend after the showcase and Backwood Beavs – the audition-based OSU Country Western Dance Performance Team – both presented more polished dancing. Furthermore, the social dances were open to all who knew how to partake, so a number of highly skilled teachers, teaching assistants , and other dancers performed alongside their students. These performance-focused and more experienced dancers were able to serve as inspiration to the PAC students, showcasing what could be possible with years of experience and out-of-class skills-building.

At the end of the performance, the students were given the opportunity to continue learning; Lila Hepner taught the partner line dance “Waltz Across Texas,” after which the Ballroom Dance Club hosted two hours of partner dancing and one hour of West Coast swing, wrapping up the dance program for the fall 2023 quarter.

To learn more about Backwood Beavs, Dancesport, and other dance-related OSU clubs, visit https://health.oregonstate.edu/pac/connections.

To enroll in non-credit PAC courses for Winter 2024, visit https://health.oregonstate.edu/pac/non-credit.

Was this article helpful?
YesNo
Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Shoshana Groom, Volunteer
Shoshana Groom (she/her/hers) is a fourth-year sociology major. She's a current First Reader for Strange Horizons, and has previously served as the Deputy Fiction Editor for The Quarryman at University College Cork, the Head Fiction Editor for Tales of Revelry, and a volunteer for Crosscurrents at University of Puget Sound. She loves ballroom dancing, Country Western dancing, embroidery, and fiction writing. Her heart belongs to her incredibly cute and even more destructive rat, Princess Buttercup.
Jiratana Tungkawachara, Assistant Editor, Summer/Fall Editor-in-Chief
Jiratana Tungkawachara (known by many other names) is the 2023-24 PRISM Editor-in-Chief. She is a third-year student who is a BioResource Research major, optioning in Biotechnology and minoring in Studio Art. Jiratana hopes to go on to grad school to pursue genetic engineering but is very interested in the field of science communication as well.

Comments (0)

All Prism Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *