If you’re on the south side of campus in the morning or between 3-5 in the afternoon, you might wonder why you hear music blaring from the library. It’s actually not coming from the new Class of 1945 library, but from the smaller, older, Davis Library next door. Although easy to overlook, this small building holds a big part of Exeter’s culture: dance.
Dance is offered as an academic class called Dance Workshop and as an extracurricular activity, Intro to Dance, during Exeter’s summer session for students of all experience levels. Both programs give dancers the chance to explore a variety of genres, including modern, jazz, musical theater, and hip-hop. Dancers in the workshop class even take technique classes that include dance history and choreography and their own routines to prepare for a final showcase at the end of the summer session.
Among the dancers in the Dance Workshop class is Haya Goldblatt from Cilley Hall, who has danced for two years in different styles (modern, ballet, jazz, and hip-hop). Her favorite part of Exeter’s dance program is its creativity.
“I’m used to dance in classes where the teacher tried to get us to all look the same (so the dance is clean), and the teachers do that here too, but there’s more room to add our own style,” she said.
Another dancer in the Dance Workshop is Sofia Sestili, a ballerina from Dunbar Hall, who has danced on and off since she was three years old. Having strictly danced ballet for most of her life, she appreciates the challenging dance classes offered at Exeter: “I get to try other type of dances as jazz or hip-hop, and we can start to learn to pick up choreography faster…We have to dance a lot which–for a dance lover–is the best thing in the world.”
For those interested in dance but haven’t taken dance classes before, Haya and Sofia said that Exeter is the perfect place to start. When asked to give advice to Exonians who want to try dance but haven’t, Haya said, ”Go for it! Exeter is a great place to try it out, because nobody cares if you look strange.”
Sofia responded similarly, saying to take advantage of the opportunities that Exeter’s summer program offers and to try a dance class for beginners. Also, to get an even better idea of Exeter’s dance program, she said to be sure to see the Dance Workshop’s showcase at 7 PM on Tuesday, August 2nd, and Wednesday, August 3rd.
Sofia’s final word of advice for aspiring dancers: “There is nobody that can’t dance. Relax your body and express yourself through the music.”