World Dance Master Class Series Introduces Cultures and Styles
St. Margaret’s Upper and Middle School dance students are experiencing dance forms from around the globe this spring, as they learn from master guest artists who specialize in various world dance customs during single-day classes in the Performing Arts Center dance studio.
The world dance master class series started with an Arabian belly dancing class in February, followed by an Irish dance class in March and a Bollywood class in May. The series was funded through a generous PTF grant as a way to introduce students to new dance forms and the cultures they originate from.
“These master classes allow students to experience a variety of world dance styles. They learn about the cultural significance of different dance traditions and learn how to move in new ways from expert instructors,” said St. Margaret's Director of Dance Kirsten Harvey.
The instructors started each sessions with a 10-minute lesson on the history of the dance style and how it has evolved into its present-day form. They then narrow in on one aspect of the dance form and start working on the choreography with students, as the instructors explain the cultural and historic significance of the moves they are practicing.
Ms. Harvey, who taught dance at colleges and universities before coming to St. Margaret’s, was inspired by her experience in higher education to bring introductory cultural dance experiences to St. Margaret’s.
“The feedback from students has been positive,” she said. “This is a unique offering for students of this age. For them to be exposed to these dance forms has been very special.”
Special thanks to the master class instructors: Angelica Nemeth (belly dancing), Noelle Snavely (Irish) and Natasha Pancholi Khatod (Bollywood).
An independent preschool through grade 12 college-preparatory day school in Orange County, California
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