Dance Department Stays “en Pointe” Offering Free Ballet Classes to Community

by Suji Han

Every Monday on the hardwood floors of the Appenzellar-Buchanan Dance Studio, 40 arms sway back and forth while 40 feet plié in ballet formation. The arms and legs belong to students, faculty, staff and community members who participate in the first free ballet class offered courtesy of the Fine Arts and Dance Department.

Instructors Nancy Walker and Beth Skroban teach students with a hands-on approach that required students focus on form and movement with keen interest.

Prof. of Dance, Paula Kellinger, offers this free ballet class on campus throughout the spring semester. “When I found there was not a ballet class for the spring, I wanted to try and find a way for there to be ballet present on campus,” says Kellinger.

The classes are held every Monday from 6:30–7:45 p.m. in the Appenzellar Buchanan Dance Studio. The class has already begun, but it is open to anyone regardless of ballet experience.

Ballet offered for fun, fitness, and form

The class provides an opportunity to study ballet and develop more experience. Also, people can find pleasure and fun through the class.

“I do expect the techniques to get better and my muscles to get stronger. Also, it just gives you an appreciation of what ballet is, especially for people who want to take other types of dance,” says Ashley Overdorff ’12.

Visit ballet scholars share their expertise

There are two instructors, Nancy Walker and Beth Skroban, who teach in rotation. As stated in an all-campus email, “Nancy J. Walker holds an M.A. and B.A. in Dance, and a Royal Society of Arts Diploma in Fine and Decorative Arts. She is an Adjunct Professor of Dance History at Gettysburg College.”

Additionally, the email states, “[Beth Skroban] studied ballet with former Kirov dancer Luba Gulyaeva and others at the Botsford School of Dance in Rochester, Ny.; with Elisabeth Carroll at Skidmore College; with faculty at the Saratoga Dance Academy in Saratoga Springs, Ny.; with Michael Steele and other members of the New York City Ballet. Ms. Skroban received a full tuition dance scholarship to West Virginia University. She holds a B.A. in History from WVU.”

The free ballet class is a part of the dance Artist in Residency program. It allows the free classes to be open to the community. WCGA, Orchesis, Friends of Orchesis, the Hyde Foundation and the Wilson College Dance Dept. also help support this program.

After the first class on Mon, Feb. 6, Kellinger received emails from two community members. They told her how wonderful the classes were and what a great opportunity Wilson College provided.

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