Oberlin Blogs


July 11, 2009

Zoe McLaughlin ’11

Remember when I was talking about opportunities? Allow me to expound upon another opportunity that I encountered late last semester, involving dance. Just to shake things up a bit, I'm not going to write about Indian dance again. Instead, I'm going to write a bit about ballet.

I've danced ballet since I was three and a half years old, and when I came to college, keeping up with it was pretty important for me. There's a studio right in downtown Oberlin, but I couldn't really afford to pay for classes every month, especially when I wasn't sure how busy I would be with my academic work. The dance department also offers the occasional ballet class, but so far they've all conflicted with my other (required) classes. This meant that I was on my own to practice, which I did, though probably not as much as I should have.

Then came that fateful day when I went to a dance performance. I thought it would be the standard modern-based fare of most dance performances, and it was, for the most part. But there was also a group that did a ballet piece. Now, it was on the contemporary ballet end of the spectrum, but it was still ballet. I got in touch with the student who organized them, and started taking the ad hoc ballet classes that she leads.

I could end this right here, having found a ballet class, but it gets better than that. The girl running the classes wants to put on a production of The Nutcracker next year, but not a ballet Nutcracker. She wants to have many different dance forms combined together--one per song, or so--to create a new Nutcracker. It sounds like it's going to be awesome.

But I can't really end this without talking about Indian dance at least a little. Before leaving campus, my dance teacher choreographed a dance that I plan on performing for this production of The Nutcracker. Putting the whole performance together is going to take a lot of work and a lot of people, but I'm incredibly excited.

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