- How have you experienced dance in your life to this point? As a dancer, as an audience member, as a choreographer, as a participant in a social or cultural setting? in what context?
I have experienced dance mostly by taking dance lessons in ballet and Chinese folk dance. I was taught the terms plie, chasse, and releve largely through ballet, and learned to point my toes and perform all the basic ballet positions. In my folk dance class, I learned how to add dance to traditional fans, ribbons, or drums. But I also was a participant of dance in a social setting too. When my high school hosted a performance where different countries could express their culture, either through song or dance, I joined CPOP, but was also introduced to KPOP, since their room was next to ours. Due to this experience, I was introduced to hip hop for the first time. For this very reason, I joined the Hunter Breakdance club to learn more about hip hop.
- What type of dance aesthetic or style appeals to you and why?
Hip hop is my favorite dance style. For hip hop, I like how it requires a strict sense of rhythm, usually accompanied with music with strong, fast beats. As for the dance form itself, you can do quick spins, sudden popping movements, and other cool movements.
- What kinds of feelings did you experience -- or what ideas were generated -- during the dance studio workshop and during the performance?
I was filled with awe when I saw Becky Allen showing us the basics of modern dance, because it looked so effortless and graceful! During the choreography practice, I was very nervous because I wasn't sure if our choreography was good enough, but I tried my best to keep my composure when I was dancing, and tried to keep a calm, composed face. But while I was performing, I was very relaxed and calm because I knew that my emotions could affect my performance, and so I kept these nervous emotions to myself.
- Did anything surprise you?
I was surprised by how easy the dance moves appeared, but wasn't as easy to perform! While I was taught the dance moves, I was shocked by how hard it was to keep the beat, be expressive, and learn the moves all at once!
- How might your engagement with dance in this class inform other areas of interest, work or study?
My engagement with dance in this class definitely increased my interest in dance, to the point that I want to take some dance classes at Hunter. I realized that dance is connected to music, which is my personal artistic interest, because dance, just like music, has a beat and rhythm.
Looking forward toward the future:
- How might this dance experience change or inspire your own artistic practice, or academic study or serve to inform and expand your perspective on other forms of art or ways of being mindful in the world?
This dance experience made me realize how important dance is, and how it can both change us for the better. For me, it is not only a good form of exercise (and helps me lose weight), but it also relieves a lot of stress and energizes me, much more than sleep or food. After the dance session at Studio 353, I was wide awake and active for 3 hours, even though before the dance class, I was exhausted from waking up really early for tennis practice. Another great benefit that dance has is that it can really help people feel for the beat of the music with their body expressions. This is good for musicians who want to play better music.