As a ballet, tap, and jazz dancer of over 15 years, I was worried that I’d look completely ridiculous trying to freestyle with the best of them in the Dance Summer Workshop Series Opener: Hip-Hop and Free-styling with Harnoor Singh. In spite of my fear, Harnoor’s class was incredibly fun! He emphasized “feeling the grove before you learn the move” and was passionate about dance as a form of expression without judgements. From the warm-ups to the lesson, and eventually the cypher, I felt completely supported my fellow dancers which brought me the comfort to express myself without worrying about technique. As the organizer of this series, I was very happy to have started the month with Harnoor’s class. It brought a great energy to carry through the next 4 workshops.
The PAC Dance Summer Workshop Series started as an idea brought to me by Tonnam Balankura as a way to bring dancers together to meet new people and learn new styles over the summer. His idea gave rise to a weekly workshop series where dancers can try new styles and share in the expressive community of dancing.
Five Penn State Students signed up to teach their favorite styles of dance. Here’s a little bit about a few of them:
Hi everyone! I'm Alicia Yang and I'm a rising junior majoring in Biology. I've been dancing ballet since I was five and also started learning Chinese classical dance when I was twelve. At Penn State, I'm a part of Volé, Penn State's ballet club. I'm excited to be teaching a ballet class this summer and hope to see a lot of new and old faces! Throughout the class, I'll teach two versions of each combination-- a simple version and an advanced version-- but you're more than welcome to make the combination more or less complicated. Hope to see you all there!
My name is Becky Stem, and I am a junior in Biomedical Engineering. I have been a member of PLL Dance Company since I was a freshman, and I have developed a lot as a contemporary dancer because of it. I have been dancing for 17 years, and lyrical/contemporary has always been my favorite style of dance. In my workshop, I plan to include a warm up with technique and stretching, across the floor exercises, and a lyrical combination. It will definitely be a lot of fun, and I look forward to teaching it!
My name is Sarah Mearhoff and I am a rising senior majoring in Print and Multimedia Journalism at Penn State University. I began dancing when I was 4 years old and I eventually moved away from home at 16 to dance professionally, but when I was 18, I decided I wanted to pursue a college degree instead. I still love to dance; I’m so happy to dance and teach for Volé, Penn State’s ballet club. I think keeping your body healthy is the most important aspect of being a dancer, so my ballet strengthening and conditioning class helps teach dancers how to build strong, healthy bodies through exercises specific to the needs of dancers.
Workshops are every Wednesday July 6 – August 3, and are free to all dancers of every level. Specific times and locations can be found on our event calendar.