By: Deanna Honett
Even though we do not offer dance as a major here at Suffolk, there are still many different ways to stay involved in the dance community for our talented dance students enrolled at our school. This can be seen when examining the SCCC dance team. Although students are not able to choose dance as a major, they are able to start off their college experience locally and affordably, with the option to than transfer out to a four-year college that possibly offers dance as a major depending on which one. This beginning step to a college education at Suffolk could be very important for many dancers that do not have the funds or resources to start college elsewhere but have the talent and drive to succeed in dance and as a college student.
Students that want to continue a dance career, or even dancing as a hobby while wanting to pursuing a education in a different field, have the opportunity to do so by not only joining the dance team but also having the options of joining the many dance clubs and classes we offer as well. From the step up dance club, to the ballroom dance club, to the electro dance music club, there is a club for everyone that can fit any dance style.
Many of our dancers are able to continue
to pursue a dance career after transferring out despite not offering dance for a major. Every major requires students to take a certain amount of basic core classics. The dance students at our college are able to get there basic liberal arts classes done at a affordable rate, while also being able to practice there dance skills on the dance team or dance clubs. While other students that desire to dance but lack the ability and training required to be on the dance team can still experience a dance community within the many different clubs. So there is a way for everyone to enjoy dancing at Suffolk, no matter what level of skills they have.
In order to be apart of the SCCC dance team a student must maintain a 2.0 grade point average while also demonstrating dance performance experience that displays a strong hip hop and jazz skill level. The practice time for dancers is held every Monday and Thursday’s from 7pm to 9pm. Dancers are suppose to keep this in mind when making their class schedule. This can conflict with some of the classes that are offered though, but students are warned prior to creating a schedule about the times.
According to the head dance coach Gina Caputo, our schools dance tryouts this year, just like many years before, was overall successful. Coach Caputo said that, “there is never a large turnout for tryouts. Many students do not realize we have a dance team, or have to work, or have a class interference.” The conflict of scheduling is a dilemma, but the problem will always be there no matter what time the dance practice is held. There will always be a class offered at the time of dance practice because there’s so many classes offered during almost all times of the day, every day. This helps bring the dancers that are truly motivated and willing to put dance at the top of their priority list to tryouts, and than to practice. The dancers that make up our dance team who make sure dance practice fits into their busy schedule of school, work, and a social life show characteristics of determination and dedication.
For those who are unable to join the dance team because of a low skill level or maybe just unable to make practice times can still dance by joining the dance clubs, which is part of club activities. The dance clubs accepts everyone at any dance levels, unlike the dance team. So if students are interested in dancing but do not have the training yet still have the opportunity to join a dance community with the dance club.
The step Up Dance Club only started spring of last year with about 2 to 3 students at first. Although the numbers of members who are apart of this club have not increased by much since the start up, making the club seem insignificant at a first glance, the clubs existence represents something much bigger.
Edwin Roldan was the original supervisor for the Step Up Dance Club. Although he is no longer the supervisor for this club for the current semester, he was more than welcoming to be interviewed about his experience supervising the Step Up Dance Club. This club does not have a large community yet, but what it shows is how any of our students that have an idea for a club, or would like to be a apart of a club that does not exist yet, has the ability to create it. Mr. Roldan recommended that “if we do not have a club, start it. The good thing about us is that we are opened.” Any students interested in starting a club, any kind of club, maybe a of dance club with a new music genre and has yet been created, should contact Mr. Roldan for not only more information but encouragement as well at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Danielle Micciantuono is a Suffolk graduate
who than transferred to Queens College for her four year degree. She graduated from Queens with a degree in nutrition, while also being apart of the Queens college dance team. She is now a professional dancer on the Cosmos dance team! She also works for Delta airlines as a nutritionist.
When asked why she started her college experience at Suffolk she said “I started at Suffolk because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my future, like most kids out of high school, but new I loved and wanted to continue dancing while I pursued any job fields.” Her story is the perfect example that students can have it all, the chance to stay local and get an affordable education while pursuing their passions, such as dancing, and figuring out there future goals.
It is exciting to see the different outcomes of our dance students like Danielle. Every individual is unique and holds different amounts of passion and levels of skills. It is important to know that our students have options when they are trying to find what fits best for them. Students should be able to not only thrive as they pursue there passions like dancing, but should also be allowed to try dance communities if they are interested in learning more. Everybody has to start somewhere. Whether you are a student that has been dedicated to dancing for years, or a student that recently developed a curiosity to become more involved in a dance community, there is a place for both here at Suffolk.