Art & Culture

Education through motion

San Benito High School has three levels of dance classes

San Benito High School has a dance class with three dance levels: Dance A, B, and C. All three of these levels performed in the school auditorium on Jan. 15-17 in the Winter Dance Concert.

Although just recently getting back from maternity leave, dance teacher Heather Nichols was able to orchestrate a grand performance for the students.

Students join dance class for many reasons that can vary from wanting to take an elective, to it being their favorite thing to do. Also, anyone can join, “It is 100 percent OK to not have any experience with dancing and sign up for dance. I have seen many students thrive in the dance program who did not have prior experience,” Nichols said.

Sophomore Cindy Pinedo said she joined the class because “people seemed to really enjoy it and have fun and I wanted to try something new and experience something different.”

The dance concert featured different types of dance styles, such as contemporary, modern, jazz, hip hop, salsa, African, Bollywood, and more. The students practice these dances two hours a day, twice a week and were able to perform these dances after two to three full practices, Pinedo said. “Everyone is patient and we go through each move that anybody needs help on.”

Dance can be taken for just one semester, or even a whole year. However, most of the students that have been in dance class like it and recommend taking it for a whole year. “My favorite part about teaching dance is witnessing a student come out of their shell and gain confidence,” Nichols said. “I’m inspired when I see how dance can empower students to become courageous individuals that don’t give up on their goals.”

Students are able to find many things to enjoy about dance class. Junior Savannah Swygert said her favorite part about dance is “after we finish a piece and the entire class knows it so when we practice it’s perfectly in-sync.” Pinedo added, “My favorite thing about dance would be being able to dance with such talented people who share the same interest as me as well as being able to learn different styles of dance.”

With scheduling for next school year underway, students should be aware of the option of taking dance and consider taking it next year if they think they would enjoy a new experience or if they love dancing.

Shelby Coffeen