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Dance Awareness Day highlights CAHSS’ dance major

Open to South Florida high school students

Indo-Caribbean, Jazz, and contemporary dance were some of the styles on display at the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences’ fifth annual Dance Awareness Day.

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“The idea is to let people at Nova know about the undergraduate dance program, but also to give high school students thinking about majoring in dance to give them a sense of what dance might be like in college,” said Assistant Professor Elana Lanczi, M.F.A., of the Department of Performing and Visual Arts.

Elana LancziLanczi said the community outreach event has grown every year, and in 2018 it featured about 100 high school students and 20 NSU undergraduate students. High school students are invited from the tri-county area of Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties, including NSU’s University School.

The day takes the form of multiple classes highlighting different dance styles, and taught by Lanczi, current dance majors, alumni, and guest artists. Other dance styles covered during the day included hip-hop, Flamenco, Latin Jazz, modern, Jazz Funk, Jazz technique, and urban contemporary. A class by guest artist Ana Miranda focused on dance therapy. The classes took place in the PVA wing of the Don Taft University Center, as well as the Rose and Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center.

“There’s a lot of energy with all those young people coming together, and there’s classes that they don’t normally get to take,” Lanczi said. “We try and offer a really diverse range of classes.”

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Lanczi said it takes about three months to put together Dance Awareness Day, but the planning is made easier by returning schools reaching out in advance to maintain their participation. She starts by assembling the guest artists, with a focus on different areas of expertise.

Lanczi said some future dance majors got their start as attendees to Dance Awareness Day.

“The day definitely helps our visibility in the community,” she said.

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