Dance minor takes off

Students, faculty respond to need with new program

| Gretchen Burns reporter |

A new minor has danced its way to the Pittsburg State campus and although in early stages, it is beginning to take off.
Students now have the option to minor in dance whether for themselves or for a future career choice.
Janice Jewett, associate professor of health, human performance and recreation department (HHPR), teaches many of the new dance minor classes.
“The main reason for this minor was to create opportunities for students who were interested in owning or managing their own dance studio,” she said. “We asked ourselves what could we offer through our department to fit this need.”
Taylor Brumbaugh has enrolled in the new minor and says she knows the knowledge she takes away from it will help her in her future career choices.
“I’ve been dancing since I was 12 and started assisting classes when I was 14,” said Brumbaugh junior in recreation. “I started teaching when I graduated high school. This is something I like doing and will help me to keep teaching at the studio that I already teach at, or to have my own studio, or to coach a middle school or high school dance team.”

Janice Jewett, associate professor, and Robert Clark, a senior in phychology and political science, teach the dance appriciation class how to do the tango.

Janice Jewett, associate professor, and Robert Clark, a senior in phychology and political science, teach the dance appriciation class how to do the tango.


The new minor itself is fairly education-based, says Jewett, when compared to a performing arts minor, but would benefit someone completing a performing arts minor.
Jamease Roberts, sophomore in justice studies, enrolled in the minor as soon as she heard about it.
“I’ve always been involved in dance and I love dance so I had to take the opportunity,” she said “What appealed to me the most is the amount of classes for dance that there are available. I heard about this minor through dance club, which I’m in involved in as well.”
Roberts says that the additional minor would add to her college experience while helping her not have to work at the student recreation center as much.
Students who choose to enroll in the new minor can expect to add 24 hours to their course load. Twenty-one of those hours are required with three hours left for electives to be chosen by students.
Some of the courses in the minor include dance appreciation, CPR and first aid, care and prevention of athletic injuries, dance performance and production and technology for dance.
In the upcoming spring semester, modern dance will be offered as a new class for those minoring in dance. The traditional “skills” classes will also still be taught, which includes ballet, tap and jazz dance.
“The new minor can reach everyone across the campus no matter what their major is,” Jewett said. “Education majors should consider it as a way to incorporate rhythm and dance into their classrooms. For those students majoring in theater, the dance minor has become recommended to improve the performance of the student. “
The minor is also applicable to students who are looking to sponsor or coach a middle school or high school dance team after graduation.
Those who go through the minor will be given a certificate to help their career along to prove that they have knowledge on the subject.
Theo Hines, junior in commercial art, says he is working toward adding the dance minor to his degree, but knows that it will take a lot of effort.
“You have to work out and train your body outside of the studio,” he said. “If you’re taking the minor because you’re passionate about dance, it’s going to take more than a technique class to get the results you need.”
“I’m taking dance classes to improve on not just the moves, but also my health. The beauty of dancing is that it can be done anywhere. You don’t have to go to a studio or gym to dance.”
Hines says the minor will help students learn about their body and movement in general, but could see enrollment lacking in numbers.
“People don’t take dancing seriously and don’t see it as a career choice, which is sad,” Hines said. “Pitt State isn’t an art school so the arts aren’t as appreciated.”
Currently, only four students are enrolled as dance minors, but Jewett says she hopes to change that.
“This is a brand new minor,” she said. “We’ve sent out bulk-e emails, put up fliers and are spreading the word about it, hoping that students will come to understand what the minor has to offer them.”

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