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Teaching the Joys of Dance

Hofstra University’s Dance and Dance Education Programs and the Association for the Help of Retarded Children (AHRC-Nassau) hosted an annual event called Pathways to Happiness to celebrate a program that brings together Hofstra students to help adults with developmental disabilities explore their creativity through dance. The showcase also included performances of original work: “Irrefutable” performed by Stephanie Grover (who also choreographed the piece) and Becki Winer and “An Introduction” choreographed and performed by twin brothers Billy and Johnny Cohen.

Hofstra’s Dance and Dance Education Programs have been working with the AHRC-Nassau for close to six years.  All Hofstra participants volunteer their time by choreographing and leading one-hour workshops each week for the AHRC-Nassau participants under the direction of Anita Feldman, director of the Dance Education Program at Hofstra. The showcase was held on December 11 at the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, on Hofstra’s South Campus.

Hofstra dance students have worked all semester to work with adults from AHRC Nassau to teach them the joys of expression through dance.
Dance students have worked all semester with adults from AHRC Nassau to teach them the joy of expression through dance.

The lead instructors for the program this semester were Dance Education students Priya Gupta and Tristan Davis. Working with AHRC allows the Hofstra dancers to gain teaching experience and to impact other people’s lives through the arts.  The AHRC-Nassau adults have shown great improvements and derive much happiness from the Hofstra dance workshops.

Also at this performance, dance and dance education majors Chelsea Beeck, Margaret Carter, Laura Merkel, Teresa Schmitt and Victoria Shadle were inducted into the National Honor Society for Dance Arts (NHSDA), administered by the National Dance Education Organization. These students have maintained at least a 3.5 GPA, and have satisfied artistic and leadership requirements.

The Hofstra University Department of Drama and Dance provides students with the opportunity to develop and hone their skills as performers, deepen their appreciation for the arts, and find careers in the theater and beyond. The Dance Program offers two undergraduate degrees: a B.A. in Dance, and a B.S. in Education – Dance Education.


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