Hobart and William Smith Colleges - Senior Dance Majors Showcase Choreography, Academic Journeys
The HWS Update
Students who were slated to perform in the Junior/Senior Choreographers' showcase pose for a publicity poster in the Gearan Center for the Performing Arts.

Senior Dance Majors Showcase Choreography, Academic Journeys

A new series of videos from Hobart and William Smith Dance majors highlights not only the creative opportunities and physical and intellectual rigor of the curriculum, but its broad interdisciplinary applications to education at the Colleges and future careers.

As courses have moved to a remote format, the “Senior Spotlight” videos offer an opportunity for dancers to “feel more connected to their peers and why they chose HWS” as well offering “a vehicle for celebrating our seniors — showcasing their different paths and experiences,” says Associate Professor of Dance Michelle Ikle.

Watch the full series

“Dance is not static, requiring a holistic understanding of history, culture and perspective,” says Hallie Varenka ’20, a Dance and Sociology double-major whose dance education helped her “grow as an artist” and “also grounded me in my own personhood.” At HWS, she had the chance “to explore things I had never even considered before and my experience of dance was effectively turned inside out,” from her understanding of the physicality of dance to her process as a choreographer.

For Alexandra Bilodeau ’20, a double-major in Dance and History, “the opportunities to create and present our own work and perform in student and faculty pieces” have been among the most valuable lessons for her as a choreographer and an aspiring dance educator.

As Dance and Education double-major Samantha Rosenberg ’20 prepares “to leave HWS and pursue a career in dance education,” she does so with the “confidence, patience, experience and skill set that I need to succeed” thanks not only to a “quality education but quality support, mentorship and friendships.”

Jessica Lietz ’20, a Dance and Psychology double-major, also notes the impact of her HWS education — her interdisciplinary coursework, participation in the Colleges Teacher Education Program and studying abroad in England and Ecuador — as foundational preparation for life after HWS. This summer, she will begin classes at the University of Rochester’s pediatric NICU nurse practitioner program.