Dance room brings a new meaning to the definition of safe spaces


Ida Pountney

The South dance room is a space where South students feel like they can be themselves without any of the hate or judgment from the outside world that people feel from day to day.

Ida Pountney , Staff Writer

Dance is a form of art that has been used for centuries for people to express themselves. People like Martha Graham, who was known as the pioneer of modern dance.  She has a trademarked style of dance, called “Graham technique,” which is completely based on emotional and physical tension and resistance.

Modern dance expanded the possibilities of what kind of dances are possible was viewed as a rebellion from the strict rules of ballet. Now South students are using dance as a way for them to have a sense of community.

Dance is a performing art form that consists of purposefully selected sequences of movement.

This movement has aesthetic and symbolic value and is acknowledged as dance by performers and observers within a particular culture. Dance can be categorized and described by its choreography, by its choreography of movement or by its historical period or place.

Junior Maddie Grove said “[In] my class anyway there’s a really tight community feel… a lot of energy at the start of the semester and school year was put in to establish a connection between us, and making sure that we felt comfortable with just putting our movement forth.”

Dance teacher Nancy Nair described dance as a “very vulnerable and very personal; it’s an expression of your deepest self and it’s the only art form that I believe is so deeply personal, because it’s your body and it’s you at the moment… it takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there no matter how small the movement.”

At the beginning at the school year, Nair tried to make her dance classes a place where people could feel safe to be themselves. “The first thing I do in my class is to cultivate [a] community connection to the space itself and the people in the space… Everyone comes out of that feeling sense of safety more or less.”

“A sense of community has a far-reaching effect where if you mess up people don’t come at you.” Grove said that, “I think that our class has become a safe enough space that if I mess something up I don’t feel like everyone’s like ‘oh my God she messed up she has terrible [form], like it’s okay to make mistakes I feel comfortable making a mistake.”

Dance is also a space where people feel like they can be themselves and share that with others.  “In terms of expressing my deepest emotions… connecting with people the most deeply and… following my own artistic dream dance has been my most important passion,” said Nair. Some dancers use a visualization technique, where they see themselves performing and imagine they are expressing different emotions as they do different movements. They might notice how their body feel when they are dancing vs. when they are not. Dance is the most natural language of human beings and the one that is the most emotional of all languages.

“One really unique thing about South dances is that it’s really diverse there a lot of different people from other cultures, different races, different other religion as well as ages,’ said Jane Rodine-Turner a freshman. Dance is an art where anyone can communicate what they’re feeling and you can speak any language.

Later she said, “You learned a lot about yourself and others from dancing The dance classes at South have a very safe community feel where you can learn and feel safe asking for help or doing a wrong move.”