As dance students, we were pleased to see last week’s article “Oxy Dancers Gear Up for a New Production,” especially as it dealt with the importance of dance and its potential place on campus. However, great was our disappointment as, once again, the dance classes offered at Oxy were completely ignored.
Dance at Oxy goes beyond Dance Team and Dance Production. There is a group of dedicated students (many lured here under the false pretense of an elusive Dance Minor) and teachers who quietly work at technique and artistry in the Dance Studio Mondays through Thursdays, despite the terrible studio floor. Last week’s article failed to mention Francisco Martinez, the ballet, modern, and choreography teacher, who has, for the past six years, fought to extend Oxy’s dance program and offer a greater variety of longer classes at least six days a week (the numbers of people attending Pulse are amazing—why is there no hip-hop class here?).
Also forgotten was Anindo Marshall, the extraordinary Dunham Technique instructor, who worked with Ms. Dunham for many years and is one of only 20 certified instructors in the Technique, a fusion of ballet, modern, Afro-Caribbean, and West African dance.
These instructors—and the other wonderful Oxy dance teachers we haven’t mentioned—work hard for the dance students who work hard in their classes. And yet, not only do our struggles and pleas for an extended dance program go unheeded by the administration, but we are ignored and forgotten by the Oxy community, who choose to focus on Dance Team and Dance Production as the only dance on campus. They are vaild parts of it, yes, but they are only a fraction of the Oxy Dance Program.
P.S. If there are any strapping young men with the time and interest, the Intermediate Ballet class (Mon. and Wed. 3:30-5) would greatly appreciate their help in learning partnering. No dance training or tights necessary—just come lend your strength to support and maybe lift girls in tights.
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