Lifelong learning with Lindsey Beagley

Our Introduction to the ASU School of Dance

Nov 1, 2021

costumes on mannequins shop at mirabella asu

Thanks to two of our community members who served as faculty in the ASU School of Dance, we had a chance to tour the facilities, observe a class, and participate in several unique dance experiences this month. 

We were welcomed by Dr. Naomi Jackson, a Professor of Dance in the School of Music, Dance and Theatre.  She gave a brief history of the School of Dance and how it has evolved to a well-established department offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees!

We toured the Costume Shop, where faculty and students work to make costumes for productions. It was fascinating to see some of the costumes they have been working on for upcoming shows and class assignments. The Costume Shop doesn’t sell any of their costumes; often they donate them to local schools or repurpose them if they are no longer needed.

Mirabella residents were able to view a Dance Technique class taught by Clinical Assistant Professor Carley Conder. Residents were amazed at the movement sequences the students performed. They seemed to be “easy” but actually required a lot of focus to execute. In this class they focused on partner movement. Not only did the students have to perform the moves, they had to partner with someone and work together! It was fun to see the students relying on each other and working together to successfully complete each movement. We were able to ask Professor Conder and students questions at the end of their class.

Last and definitely not least, we viewed a Hip Hop class with Clinical Assistant Professor “House.”  House addressed our residents at the beginning of the class and gave a quick description of the class. The student warm-up for class was even impressive to watch!  

The most fun part of the class was when we were invited to form part of the class circle, which we learned is called a cypher in the hip hop dance world.  Students would hop in the middle and dance using their freestyle and improvisational moves.  While many residents joined in forming the cypher, we had two residents actually jump into the middle and showcase their freestyle dance moves with ASU students cheering them on!