Dance program hosts over a dozen local high schools for annual event


Local high schoolers are introduced to adjunct professor, Lindsay Hawkins, who taught a contemporary jazz routine.
Photo by Kayla Drake

KAYLA DRAKE | Multimedia Producer


The seventh annual High School Dance Day for the Lindenwood dance program attracted almost 50 local teens to sample the program Nov. 9.

Thirteen area high schools spent the day learning choreographed routines from tap, jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, ballet and west African dance styles.

A total of 48 students, from schools like Ursuline Academy and the Grand Arts Performing Academy, worked with every faculty member in the program throughout the day in 30-minute-long classes. 

“We think it’s important that they get a little bit of each instructor because just taking class from one person doesn’t really give people the feel of what the program is like,” dance program chair, Janet Strzelec said.

Strzelec said most dance programs focus on either contemporary or ballet, but Lindenwood’s is more diverse. 

This past year the program welcomed its biggest class of freshmen. Strzelec said that combining the new students with current ones equals an “amazing amount of talent.”

“Not just talent, but they’re also good people, and they support each other,” Strzelec said. “They behave as I feel professional dancers should behave. It’s thrilling, I smile everyday.”

Jordan Williams started dancing in ninth grade and finds it easy to be intimidated by Lindenwood dance majors, who have been dancing since toddler years.

Williams said Strzelc’s words helped her perform better today.

“She always says ‘It’s a scientific fact that when you smile during dance you do better, and it really helped me to do better today,” Williams said.

In addition to the dance program experience, students had the opportunity to audition for the program, see a small showcase from the Fall Dance Concert and receive tickets for the concert.