The Social Role of Dance Companies

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Learning how to dance is not just an important personal desire, it is a physically empowering act that also connects the dancer to their overall community. This has been the goal of dance companies across the country, who have connected their learning approaches in dancing toward community outreach. Many dance studios that form in different regions or cities are able to continue a tradition by teaching specific forms of dancing and by allowing members of the community to meet and interact through art. Dance companies usually provide numerous dance classes and programs, some of which comes with certifications of completion to verify the dancer's expertise in that style of dance. Like a college program, many of the certificate programs are 2-year programs where the dancer will learn integral parts to dance routines to become an experienced and certified dancer in a particular style. Dance styles will vary on the dancing school. For example, on the website, the dancing school claims to have 250 classes in a dozen different styles. Some styles range from the contemporary to the classical. Examples include jazz, salsa, zumba, tap dancing, martial arts, hip hop, and African-based dances. Other classes are more involved in dance techniques and conditioning. An entire program is on body conditioning to help hone the muscles of the student to become accustomed to a dancing curriculum. 

At the end of the day, however, a dance company is more than just a school to learn how to dance. Dance companies invest heavily in community outreach to help bring residents of the surrounding community together and to help people artistically express themselves through dance. For example, dancing is a great form of self-expression for teenagers who are going through their transformative years. In addition, dance companies often provide scholarships to students who may not have the means to attend their programs at full-price. This helps eager, but financially stressed students complete a dance program and improve themselves without costing too much for themselves or their families. A dance company also engages in many philanthropic activities, usually participating in commercial activities, like a local chamber of commerce, and artistic associations within a city or region. Finally, dance companies provide the simple action of social interaction by students from diverse backgrounds being able to learn about dance together under one roof. 

Dance companies are integral members of an artistic and social community. Students who are interested in learning about dance are not only improving themselves physically, mentally, and artistically, but they are improving their social relations to their greater community.

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