University offers dance class

Judy Schneider, instructor, teaches the International Folk and Social Dance class March 1. The class learns dances from cultures around the world.

Judy Schneider, instructor, teaches the International Folk and Social Dance class March 1. The class learns dances from cultures around the world.

The Tinikling and D’hammerschmiedsgsllen don’t mean anything to most people. However, if it’s mentioned to 22 students, they might start dancing as few people have seen.

This spring, Missouri Southern offered a new class, International Folk and Social Dance, taught by instructor Judy Schneider.

The class was formed when Dr. Patsy Lipira, kinesiology department head, approached Schneider to teach a dance class. Schneider readily agreed, but they were then faced with the decision as to what type of dance class it should be. Together they developed this class.

Although the class was closed relatively quickly, Schneider and Lipira were nervous their class wouldn’t even make.

“I was really surprised,” Schneider said. “We were just hoping for 10 [students].”

However, on the first day of class, Schneider was faced with teaching 24 students a variety of dances from around the world.

Although two students didn’t show, the other 22 have learned the Hora, a dance from Israel, the Korobushka from Russia, Seven Jumps from Denmark, La Raspa from Mexico and numerous others.

Next, Schneider is planning to focus on social dances, which includes a waltz, polka and swing.

Schneider said she and the students have enjoyed the class.

“It’s a blast,” Schneider said. “At the end, we’re all laughing, sometimes sweating.”

Diony Paillant’s, senior CIS major, favorite dances are the Hora and the Tinikling, which is from the Philippines.

“I really enjoy it because you learn so many different dances,” Paillant said. “It’s pretty interesting to see how they [the countries where the dances originate] would do their dances, and how Americans forge it a little bit to make it easier on themselves.”

Schneider said there are several benefits to this class open up opportunities to students. Two of the advantages are the students have a new way to exercise and, since this is a social class, they are able to get to know other students better than most classes.

“The people in this class become friends, as well as classmates,” Schneider said. “That’s one of the benefits of social dance.”

Although the class has been popular with those who have taken it, Southern will not be offering this class next semester.

Instead, the University intends to offer a Folkloreicl dance class led by Schneider. The Folkloreicl dance is a Mexican folk dance. Schneider said it would be for both women and men.

“If you [men] want to look like Antonio Banderas, take the class,” Schneider said.

The International Club will be providing the course with the costumes necessary to make it seem more authentic.

Although the students learn a mixture of dances, they still have to take tests.

So far they have taken two skill tests and will take some written tests as well.

However, this is not Schneider’s main point for the class.

“My concern is when they leave they will have an understanding of the different cultures,” she said.