The sound of a piano echoes through a large studio in the Loretto-Hilton Center, while students dance gracefully across the floor. The dancers move to the sound of their professor’s voice and the rhythm of the music.
The Dance Club at Webster University gives students the chance to learn and practice dance. The club consists of dance majors and minors as of now, but any Webster student is welcome. The club wants to bring dance to people who are not experienced. There is no fee to join. There are 54 active members in the club.
Dance Club member D.J. Duncan said this club gives members a sense of community that cannot be found in regular technique classes.
“It’s a combination between athleticism and art that makes me love it,” Duncan said. “We are able to establish relationships and learn good leadership skills.”
The main styles of dance practiced in the Dance Club classes are ballet and modern. Ballet is considered a graceful style of dance used with pointe shoes. Modern is a free, expressive way of dance. Professors teach the classes and a piano accompanies as well.
Artistic guests are brought in on select Wednesdays to teach the class. Most of the guests are students, teachers or dancers from dance companies around St. Louis. These guests teach other styles of dance than what the Dance Club normally practices, such as African, salsa and belly dancing.
President of the Dance Club Gabriella Farrell said she appreciates the opportunity to meet new people and make connections.
“It’s nice to be a part of the Dance Club because we can meet other people around campus that also love dance,” Farrell said. “It really helps me get my name out there and make networking connections.”
Farrell said the goal for the club is to bring dance to everyone, even people who are not dance majors.
“We just want to bring dance to the people who may not be experienced and don’t want to feel intimidated,” Farrell said.
The Dance Club hosts several events throughout the year, including sales and fundraisers.
The Creations Concert takes place at the end of every semester before final exams, when they work with Webster’s Conservatory Theatre for sound and lighting. Also, an event called “Club Dance” is held in the large dance studio, where the lights are turned off, streamers fall down and a DJ plays music.
All of the classes are held in the large dance studio on the second floor of the Loretto-Hilton Center. Ballet and modern dance are taught Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:20 p.m. Select classes take place on Wednesdays, but the time varies.